Some people are twisted and some are sick.
Any fans who would say the things that Ja Morant’s father, Tee, said they said to him and Ja’s mother, Jamie, during Game 2 of the Jazz’s playoff series with the Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Arena on Wednesday night are one or the other.
I did not hear the remarks firsthand, but what Tee Morant described to ESPN in the aftermath, spoken by three out-of-control fans, who were subsequently banned by the Jazz, blew five freeway exits past the edge of acceptable, barreling straight to lewd, hateful and racist.
According to Morant, one fan made a vulgar remark to his wife. Another said, “I’ll put a nickel in your back and watch you dance, boy.” And yet another said to Jamie, “Shut the f—- up, b——.”
Did they lean a club up against the outer wall of the building and rip bedsheets off their heads before they entered?
As Morant, a man known to cheer vocally for his son from the stands at road games and who often engages in playful banter with opposing fans during games, said he knows heckling. This, he said, went far beyond that.
What a pathetic display of behavior by these individuals, people who the Jazz would and should be ashamed to call fans. Donovan Mitchell called the behavior “ridiculous” on Twitter, and supported the bans.
The Jazz issued a statement saying they “have zero tolerance for offensive or disruptive behavior.”
Good on them. That’s the heartening news here, that the organization will not tolerate these kinds of actions, and anyone who demonstrates such horrendous behavior will get thrown out and banned.
There’s more positive news, as well. Other Jazz fans who were throwing and catching back a little trash talk with Tee Morant confronted the offending individuals and pointed them out to arena security, who took appropriate measures from there.
The Jazz and the great majority of their fans do not want to be represented by the sick and the twisted. They do not want to have their names and reputations and rooting interests and community to be sullied and besmirched by a small number of idiots.
And ever since the well-known incidents of the past involving Russell Westbrook, the ugly actions that prompted the dignified Gail Miller to stand on the floor at an earlier game to express her disgust and determination to a full house to eliminate such behavior at Jazz games, it appears most everyone is pitching in to hold up that standard.
There will be the outliers, those who have not yet benefited from or been blessed with proper enlightenment as to the right way of thinking, the decent way of thinking and speaking and acting at a basketball game.
Pity the fools for what they might think or do elsewhere.
Tee Morant expressed appreciation to the Jazz for their prompt and decisive reaction and to their fans who conversed with him and his wife in a fun, civil, human way.
We can all be decent and human — right? — even when a playoff game is on the line, when the rooting is thunderous and the emotion is high and the action on the court is intense.
Even when Ja Morant goes for 47 points, the Jazz unable to find a way to slow him down, and his dad and mom in the stands are loud and proud.
They are the opponent, not the enemy.
That fact is lost only on the few, on the twisted and on the sick.
GORDON MONSON hosts “The Big Show” with Jake Scott weekdays from 2-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone, which is owned by the parent company that owns the Utah Jazz.