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A defamation lawsuit against Russell Westbrook and the Jazz for a Mar. 2019 fan altercation was dismissed in Utah court

The then-Oklahoma City guard was in a heated exchange with two fans who were banned from the arena and were looking to sue him.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz
Russell Westbrook had a legal matter pending since 2019 that has since been dismissed.
Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

There is some news today about Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook being involved in a fan altercation. And no, it’s not the one from yesterday involving a Philadelphia 76ers fan who was clearly in the wrong.

In the post regarding the 76ers fan from earlier today, I wrote that Westbrook had a track record of being in heated exchanges in fans, including a game in Mar. 2019 when the then-Oklahoma City Thunder superstar was fined $25,000 by the NBA for cursing at a fan at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. That fan also directed threatening language at him.

The thing is that the fan who directly yelled at Westbrook, Shane Keisel, and his girlfriend, Jennifer Huff didn’t go quietly into the night after the incident and after Keisel was banned from Jazz and Vivint Arena events for life. They sued Westbrook and the Jazz for $100 million for damages because of defamation and emotional distress back in Dec. 2019.

But today, a Utah judge dismissed the lawsuit, citing that Westbrook did not defame Keisel or Huff because he never mentioned them by name, and also because of his right to his opinion of the matter. The Jazz were also protected from defamation because of similar reasons.

After a crummy Wednesday, hopefully, this lawsuit dismissal is good news for Westbrook along with the 76ers’ news earlier today. The dismissal is also a deterrent against the fan who dumped popcorn on him from filing a frivolous lawsuit.