Grizzlies, Jazz players react to unruly fans at Utah stadium
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - There is always drama and high tension when two teams get after each other in an NBA playoff series.
The fans are a huge part of the pageantry, but not when things turn ugly like it did in Utah for the Memphis Grizzlies in game two last Sunday.
Several jazz fans launched racial and sexual taunts at grizzlies star guard Ja Morant’s family, who were in the stands at the game.
Ja’s father, Tee Morant told ESPN one fan told him “I’ll put a nickel in your back and watch you dance, boy.”
Another fan made sexually explicit remarks about Morant’s mother, Jamie.
The jazz apologized and announced the three fans were banned from their arena.
After Friday’s practice, Morant said, “man it’s just mind blowing that this stuff still continues in the world today. You know, we’re very excited to be back home in Memphis where we’re comfortable, have fans who embrace us and love us, and treat us like their own.”
The Grizzlies head coach, Taylor Jenkins has his own take on the situation.
“I’m beyond disappointed. Luckily, I have the utmost faith in our fan base to be the most competitive, the most rowdy, but also the most hospitable, the most respectful as they always are. But to know that that exists in our country, in our NBA arenas, something further has to be addressed in my opinion.”
UT Jazz head coach, Quinn Snyder also spoke on behalf of the organization stating, “I’d like to apologize to Ja and his family. No one has to be subjected to that. The people who made those comments should be banned for life.”
Jazz all star Donovan Mitchell said, “we play for the jazz. So what you say to Ja’s mother and father you say to my mother and father. It’s not like you’re speaking to the grizzlies, you’re speaking to a black man, black woman. That’s first, that’s first.”
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