Jazz owner Gail Miller pleads for civility: 'We are not a racist community'

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  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    March 16, 2019 6:32 p.m.

    Sloan attacked a few refs and he is icon in our state. I would be in jail if I did that. Pro sports have many many problems. For decades now one can hear things court side in SLC that one would never hear elsewhere. Because there are so many good people here, a few bad apples come here too to enjoy our economy and state. I guess a few people think they have freedom of speech court side. On different topic, cut season to 30 game season, single game elimination in playoffs, start season in Dec. and end in April, and players make half million for 5 month season and coaches make $125 K. This will improve pro sports. And they will have half the year off to work other real jobs.

  • The Meliorist CA, 00
    March 16, 2019 10:39 a.m.

    Gail Miller for President

    She's got dignity, she calls it like it is, she's a proven leader. And she is NOT a racist.

    We'll said, Gail.

  • I.M. Fletch Salt Lake City, UT
    March 16, 2019 9:39 a.m.

    I love basketball. Played it every free moment I had growing up. Loved the Jazz.

    At some point in the last twenty years the NBA went from being a sports league to just an entertainment show. However, what I didn't realize is that it wasn't just WWE-style entertainment, but now closer akin to Jerry-Springer-style entertainment.


    I'll follow Utes football instead.

  • emb Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 16, 2019 4:43 a.m.

    Gail is a model of civility. Thanks for being such a good example. Even at the professional level it is just a game...

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    March 15, 2019 10:09 p.m.

    "Never thought I'd say this......as of today the Jazz orgainization lost me."

    Because they insist on civility from their fan base. If that offends you, well, I guess that is ok. The last thing they need is for more fans that think being crude is an attractive trait. It's hard for me to believe that is what you intended, but you didn't explain what they did that turned you off.

  • Pugman Tremonton, UT
    March 15, 2019 2:51 p.m.

    And today I join you my brother

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    March 15, 2019 12:39 p.m.

    I haven't watched professional sports for years and I don't miss it at all. Cheering for a bunch of whiny, grossly over paid, self absorbed people who don't give two hoots about you except that you pay outrageous ticket prices so they can be worshipped is not my idea of a good time. Many will say good ridance to me and that's OK. I left along time ago and haven't missed it one bit.

  • Pugman Tremonton, UT
    March 15, 2019 12:16 p.m.

    I don't want to be missed pal.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    March 15, 2019 11:25 a.m.

    Uteology - Those twitter posts were proven to be spammed... sorry the fan did not do those posts, someone was making the fan out to be worse than he was...

    Oh wait... we do not worry about verification, just go straight to conviction....

  • Culture Warrior Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2019 11:09 a.m.

    We're not a "racist community" in the sense that we don't pride ourselves in having that quality be a known cultural export, but we are a community with a lot of racists and a troubled racist history. Saying "this isn't who we are" ignores the uncomfortable truths that it is, indeed, who "we" are, in some unfortunate respects.

  • Jello is Good ,
    March 15, 2019 11:10 a.m.

    @Pugman - Tremonton, UT
    March 15, 2019 10:31 a.m.

    "Never thought I'd say this......as of today the Jazz orgainization lost me."

    And if that is your feeling, then you won't be missed.

  • Out of the Blue Layton, UT
    March 15, 2019 10:56 a.m.


    But if someone was booing the flag being brought to center Court, we wouldn't ignore it. If someone said something about our sister we would say something. The issue here is not that we don't speak up, but that we speak up when something we identify with is being maligned. Gail is challenging us to identify with more people.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    March 15, 2019 10:41 a.m.

    Perhaps the higher alcohol content law will mellow out the fans

  • Pugman Tremonton, UT
    March 15, 2019 10:31 a.m.

    Never thought I'd say this......as of today the Jazz orgainization lost me.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 15, 2019 10:27 a.m.

    gabood - Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2019 8:58 a.m.
    This is so absurd. Russell Westbrook lost his cool and then tried to deflect by calling a fan "racist". The fan allegedly said "why don't you get on your knees like you are used to." How does that have anything to do with race? Whole thing is blown way out of proportion. The fan was wearing Jordan brand gear in the interview after the game. Is that a sign of someone who is racist? Wearing Michael Jordan's brand?


    No, but his Twitter posts are.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    March 15, 2019 10:20 a.m.

    @out of the blue:

    Yes, I ignore a lot of things.
    Because adults ignore ignorant chatterings.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    March 15, 2019 10:05 a.m.

    I've seen Russell Westbrook play in person only 2 times (many times on TV) and have never once seen him instigate an altercation with a fan. I've seen him push a phone away (a phone that was stuck in his face (while he was leaving the court) by an incredibly rude fan. Other than that--I've seen nothing but colorful (yes) brilliant play and a guy who plays for and is very loyal to his small market team. I would fall of my chair and giggle like a happy school girl if I heard that Russell Westbrook were being traded to the Jazz.

    On the other hand--I've seen rude and inappropriate fan behavior at just about every single Jazz game I've ever attended. Understand--this isn't indicting the Jazz crowds as a whole, but in every single game that I've ever attended, there are always those few. The guy who mumbles remarks about opposing players appearance or attitude or intelligence. The one who spouts hate language juuuust loudly enough for a few people to hear him. The one who sticks incredibly inappropriate and intolerant language into a chorus of boos,---because he can get away with it.

    Support Shane? Two words. Twitter feed.

  • Not-in-Utah-anymore , CA
    March 15, 2019 9:26 a.m.

    Utah fans have long been known to be extremely enthusiastic, whether rooting for the Jazz or local college teams. But I like what Jerry Seinfeld had to say in the opening to one of his episodes, that we're not actually rooting for players; we're rooting for a colored shirt. "It's different guys every year. You're rooting for clothes, when you get right down to it. We're screaming about laundry."

    If our favorite player went to play for a rival team next year, we'd probably stop rooting for them. Likewise, if a hated player on the other team came to our team, we'd probably welcome him with open arms. In the end, it really is just a game, but the people wearing that different colored laundry are people, too.

  • Out of the Blue Layton, UT
    March 15, 2019 9:22 a.m.


    Have you ever heard something offensive and ignored it? I have, at a Jazz game no less. So I do feel a little guilty and am glad they are taking steps to let people like me know how to safely report things like this in the future.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    March 15, 2019 9:17 a.m.

    Gail has to protect the franchise, it’s a big investment for drunken loudmouth fans.

  • GrainOfSalt Draper, UT
    March 15, 2019 9:10 a.m.

    Agree with Gail Miller and the request for greater civility, but I cry foul when Dennis Lindsey says, "What it does is make everyone feel small, and every Caucasian should take a look at themselves and look at their heart." This is not a "Caucasian" problem but a human nature problem. I have lived in many places where I (a Caucasian) was in the minority and in some cases strongly discriminated against. He should instead say that every "person" should look at themselves...
    I'm not going to start apologizing to everyone now because I am white. I have seen people of different ethnicities be just as racist as anyone else. Unfortunately it is a problem that doesn't discriminate and can be found amongst us all.

  • gabood Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2019 8:58 a.m.

    This is so absurd. Russell Westbrook lost his cool and then tried to deflect by calling a fan "racist". The fan allegedly said "why don't you get on your knees like you are used to." How does that have anything to do with race? Whole thing is blown way out of proportion. The fan was wearing Jordan brand gear in the interview after the game. Is that a sign of someone who is racist? Wearing Michael Jordan's brand?

    Absolutely absurd. I think this is all a deflection from Russell Westbrook's poor attitude.

  • srw Riverton, UT
    March 15, 2019 8:48 a.m.

    Choruses of disrespectful, vulgar shouts are regularly directed at the visiting teams at Utah Grizzlies games (especially at the end of Grizzlies power plays). I hope those will stop too.

  • MyHeadisSayingThings Charlotte, NC
    March 15, 2019 8:44 a.m.

    Still not sure the fan actually intended racism. I think his claim that his comment was to "ice his knees" is more plausible (has a definite basketball meaning of "sit down - you're done") than "get on your knees," which I think is just weird. I think it's entirely possible it was just misheard and this is all a misunderstanding. That said, I don't doubt that there are hateful and hurtful things expressed (maybe by him and definitely by others). Maybe he was guilty or maybe the Jazz just needed to make a statement to fans in general and he's the scapegoat - no one commenting here will know which is true. If he was innocent, I feel really bad for him getting dragged through the mud. If he was guilty, then I feel just fine.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2019 8:29 a.m.

    White ISIS/White Supremacy was alive and well before Donsld Trump. Now it is even worse. They don't want peace and civility.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    March 15, 2019 8:03 a.m.

    You know what I resent ?
    I resent Gail Miller's implied assumption that "the community" needs to feel guilty or express an apology for the action of one person.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    March 15, 2019 7:53 a.m.

    You would think Ms. Millers comments wouldn’t need to be said in this day and age. But the past 10 years an evil that’s been in slumber in our society has resurfaced with a vengeance. No matter what come across as appropriate in our politics these days it should not be tolerated in our communities or homes. It goes without saying that we are better than this but it requires daily discipline to not only embrace courtesy but demand it among those around us.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    March 15, 2019 7:26 a.m.

    Great counter point to the populist opinion that just because someone makes a lot of money doing what they do, you can disrespect them at will. Gail is a great ambassador of the community and many would be well served by following her example.

    The dude who made the comments and was banned claimed it was his wife's first game. Not sure what he thought he was doing trying to get into a verbal altercation with a player from the other team, but that isn't what a ticket to a NBA game entitles him to do. Too bad his actions also made it also his and his wife's last game.

    Westbrook also has responsibility here too. He needs to learn how to respond to classless people like this better. The league will deal with him. Some say $25,000 isn't all that much. Trust me, people with money still understand the value of $25,000. When he was being recruited for college, he was offered an academic scholarship to Stanford, but declined because even with the scholarship, he couldn't afford to go there. He understands the value of $25,000. That's why he works so hard now.

    Good job Gail, you made us all proud.

  • Rockarolla West Jordan, UT
    March 14, 2019 10:41 p.m.

    There's one thing to remember when cheering at a Jazz game. All of the players in the NBA are top level athletes and deserve our respect. We like some better than others but no body in the league deserves to be slurred with any type of talk that is inappropriate or racist.

    Russell Westbrook is a pain in the Jazz neck but he is also one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Maybe it would be better to just appreciate the way he plays and cheer for the Jazz to win.
    I would trade for Russell Westbrook in a heartbeat. He has a better pedigree than any player on the Jazz current roster.

    Make no mistake about it, I love this Jazz team but to have a Russell Westbrook on our lineup would be a no brainer!

  • Ethics Prof ,
    March 14, 2019 9:27 p.m.

    Thank you, Gail, for this heartfelt and inspirational speech. You are a wonderful ambassador and leader in our community. I was at the game Monday evening, and from our earlier interactions I knew that you would respond forcefully to this unfortunate incident. For those who do not already know about Gail's commitment to important values, I encourage you to look up her speech at BYU when she gave the Wheatley Institution Distinguished Ethics Lecture. We are a truly blessed community to have such an example of virtue in our midst!