UTAH JAZZ

ESPN Analyst Calls Out Fans Reaction To Jazz Black Lives Matter Post

Jun 11, 2020, 2:23 PM | Updated: 2:34 pm
Amin Elhassan (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for )...
Amin Elhassan (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for )
(Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for )

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – ESPN analyst Amin Elhassan called out some Utah Jazz fans after the team issued a Black Lives Matter post across their social media platforms. Wednesday’s post was met with both support and opposition from members of the fanbase.

Elhassan, a former member of the Phoenix Suns front office is now a frequent contributor to ESPN’s basketball coverage. In an Instagram Live post, Elhassan called out members of the Jazz fanbase who disagreed with the team’s message.

One Jazz fan, @liesebelle tweeted a segment of Elhassan’s video regarding the importance of team issued statements.

“This is why statements matter, why statements are important,” Elhassan said. “Why it’s important for organizations and teams to put out statements because it sends a message to two groups of people. The first group are the good fans, I don’t want this video to make it seem like everyone who is a Jazz fan is super prejudice, there were plenty of positive comments that were supporting the team and proud of the team for putting out that statement. So you want to let those people know that we’re on your side, we stand for equality.”

Jazz Fans React To Black Lives Matter Post

The Jazz released their Black Lives Matter post Wednesday morning. By Thursday afternoon, the post had more than 22,000 likes and 1,800 comments.

“We’re proud of our community,” The post read. “We hear you–we see you continuing to learn. Let’s keep going. There’s still work to do. ‪#BlackLivesMatter

While most responses were supportive of the team’s post, some fans disagreed with the message.

Elhassan addressed the fans who expressed disappointment in the team’s post.

“It also sends a message to all the people who are not for equality,” Elhassan said. “For all the people who have prejudice thinking — anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist, sexist — right? All of those things, it lets them know, this right here is not a safe space for you. We don’t think like you, you have to know what we support. And, if you don’t support that, and if you don’t want to support that — there’s the door. Kick rocks. Go find something else to root for that supports your ideological beliefs. Excuse me, your crazy ideological beliefs.”

Past Racial Issues In Utah

Members of the Jazz fan base have previously been accused of racist behavior. Last season, then Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook accused a Jazz of making racially pointed remarks towards him.

Two fans received a lifetime ban as a result.  After the incident, fellow NBA players said they had experienced verbal attacks when playing against the Jazz.

At the next home game, team owner Gail Miller addressed the crowd saying hate speech was not welcome at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.

“No one wins when respect goes away,” Miller said. “Let’s keep a supporting atmosphere that our players know and deserve.”

Afterward, Jazz guard Donovan Mithell issued his thoughts on the Westbrook incident on Twitter.

“Racism and hate speech hurts us all,” Mitchell tweeted. “And this is no the first time something like this has happened in our own arena.”

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