After a fan incident last week, the Utah Jazz provided complimentary services for Wednesday’s Western Conference playoff game to the family of Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant.
Tee Morant, Ja’s father, told ESPN prior to the Jazz’s 126-110 series-clinching win in Salt Lake City that Jazz owner Ryan Smith provided complimentary tickets for courtside seats, lodging and a car service for a group of Morant’s family and friends.
The benefits stemmed from one of a series of fan incidents inside NBA arenas last week. Following Game 2 of the first-round series on May 26 in Utah, Morant said that three individuals made vulgar and racist comments to him and his family. The Jazz indefinitely banned the three fans from Vivint Arena.
"It was a nice gesture from the Jazz," Tee Morant said by phone. "It was unfortunate. It was just a few fans – most of them were great and cheering right alongside with us."
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"Memphis Grizzlies and Morant family... we are embarrassed and sorry," Smith tweeted last week. "The @utahjazz have zero tolerance for offensive behavior. We are committed to creating a respectful, competitive environment."
"The Utah Jazz have zero tolerance for offensive or disruptive behavior," the Jazz said in a statement last Thursday. "An incident occurred last night involving a verbal altercation during Game 2. Arena security staff intervened, and the investigation resulted in the removal and banning of three Jazz fans indefinitely.
"We apologize to all who were impacted by this unfortunate incident and condemn unacceptable fan behavior."
The Morant situation isn’t the only fan incident since the NBA playoffs started. Fans have thrown popcorn at Washington’s Russell Westbrook, spit at Atlanta’s Trae Young and thrown a water bottle at Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, while another was tackled by security after running on the court in Washington, D.C.
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