KqWIN wrote: red4hf wrote:
Inigo Montoya wrote:
I think it might be, because once racism was alleged, he can claim slander and damage to his reputation and the like. Basically, the entire country (exaggeration) may view this guy as a racist based on Westbrook's allegations and the Jazz's actions. This is why I'm interested if either side will have to prove that he did or didn't say something racist (and not if he said anything at all or heckled) because that is the crux of the matter. The Jazz could certainly ban him for a host of things, but if they\Westbrook claim the fan said something racist then I'm guessing someone (Jazz\Westbrook\fan) will have to either prove or disprove it. The fan isn't suing the Jazz for banning him, he's suing the Jazz and Westbrook "claiming he was wrongly accused of shouting racist and derogatory terms against the current Rockets player."
Exactly..... Public figures have a very hard time proving libel and slander because the Supreme Court decided they have to prove "actual malice"..... This guy is not a public figure, so the standard for him is lower...... The team might have been better off banning him for something like "unruly conduct" which you can interpret 1000 different ways...... But by claiming that they banned him for racist statements they are painting themselves into a corner if he didn't actually make those statements......
They also never said his name and didn't explicitly say it was racism. WB didn't say his name either. The fan himself inserted his name in the conversation going on public news.
It was heavily implied to be racism, but the team/Gail called the incident a violation of the code of conduct, lack of respect, etc while racism was only mentioned in broader contexts by Gail. "We are not a racist community", that type of thing. Never did the Jazz say the fan was banned for racism. Both the official statement and Gail's speech are bulletproof.
The Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Group announced today a permanent ban of the fan who engaged in the inappropriate interaction with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook last night at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The ban is effective immediately and includes all arena events.
The organization conducted an investigation through video review and eyewitness accounts. The ban is based on excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player during the game that violated the NBA Code of Conduct.
The Utah Jazz will not tolerate fans who act inappropriately. There is no place in our game for personal attacks or disrespect.
“Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy and play the game in a safe, positive and inclusive environment,” said Steve Starks, president of the Utah Jazz. “Offensive and abusive behavior does not reflect the values of the Miller family, our organization and the community. We all have a responsibility to respect the game of basketball and, more importantly, each other as human beings. This has always been a hallmark of our incredible fan base and should forever be our standard moving forward.”
That above would suggest the fan has no case......
BUT Gail Miller also said this:
“I am extremely disappointed that one of our quote ‘fans’ conducted himself in such a way as to offend not only a guest in our arena, but also me personally, my family, our organization, the community, our players and you, as the best fans in the NBA,” Miller said in her address.
“This should never happen. We are not a racist community. We believe in treating people with courtesy and respect as human beings. From time to time, individual fans exhibit poor behavior and forget their manners and disrespect players on other teams. When that happens, I want you to jump up and shout ‘stop.’ We have a code of conduct in this arena. It will be strictly enforced.”
The organization really implied he was banned for racist statements...... He could credibly argue he was defamed, IF he didn't actually say anything racist.....It doesn't really matter if they didn't explicitly name him, he was shown on TV...... I think the lawsuit is a long shot, but, it's not completely frivolous......