Jayson Tatum says he supports Russell Westbrook for going after heckling fan

Alex Reimer
March 14, 2019 - 11:46 am

Jayson Tatum says he understands why Russell Westbrook fired back at the Jazz fan who was allegedly hurling vulgar insults at him. 

On Wednesday, the young Celtics star said he thinks players should be allowed to defend themselves against vehement verbal attacks.

"People always expect us to turn the shoulder. And we get paid all this money, we should be able to let them talk to us any kind of way, and that’s just not true,” Tatum told MassLive’s John Karalis. “For the most part, we do a good job of letting go and running out the other way, but what that person said was tough. It was out of line and very disrespectful to who he was as a person. We’ve all been out there. You’ve got to stand up for yourself.”

The Thunder guard was fined $25,000 for telling the fan and his wife he would “f— them up.” Westbrook says the fan, who’s been banned for life from Utah’s home arena, told him to get “get on his knees like he’s used to.”

Westbrook says he took the insult as racial in nature.

Knicks owner James Dolan, meanwhile, has faced no league discipline for banning a fan for life from MSG for telling him to “sell the team” at a recent home game. 

Related: Thursday’s Mashup: Julian Edelman, Paul Pierce attend Shaquille O’Neal’s restaurant opening in Los Angeles

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