SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — An incident perceived as racist Monday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena, put Utah in a national spotlight and raised questions about racism in the state.
Jeanetta Williams, president of the Salt Lake City chapter of the NAACP says, overall, she does not see Utah as a racist state — but it is sometimes perceived that way given its lack of racial diversity.
The comment and question last night made by a Jazz fan, as reported by Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was “get down on your knees like you used to."
Westbrook took issue with that, describing it as racial in nature.
Williams said those words would not have been spoken to a white player. When pressed further on why they were racist, or whether they were more of a homophobic slur, Williams agreed they may be more of the latter.
Regardless of the intention behind the words, Williams said derogatory comments like those reflect badly on Utah as a whole.