Ja Morant’s Father Tee Says He’s Rooting For Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant’s father Tee said he will be rooting for the Utah Jazz to win the championship this season.
Morant’s family was the victim of harassment by a handful of Jazz fans after game two in Salt Lake City, leading to three fans earning indefinite bans from Vivint Arena.
However, in a video shot by the Jazz and released by ESPN after eliminating the Grizzlies in game five, Morant’s father is seen talking to guard Donovan Mitchell and extending his best wishes to the franchise.
Warning: This video in the following tweet contains language that might not be suitable for all viewers. Discretion is advised.
Tee Morant to Donovan Mitchell: “Y’all didn’t have to show us love like that. … That’s why I hope the Jazz win the championship.”
Mitchell told ESPN, “For me, it was just the ultimate sign of respect.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 3, 2021
“I’m going for y’all right now,” Morant’s father tells Mitchell. “Why? Y’all didn’t have to do that, y’all didn’t have to show love to us like that. This is what I’m saying, when [things] go bad, and then you reach out, that’s how you bridge a gap.”
During the Jazz game two victory in Utah, a small group of fans verbally assaulted Morant’s parents with racist and derogatory remarks.
Several members of the Jazz organization apologized for the fans’ behavior including owner Ryan Smith, who later provided courtside seats to Morant’s family for game five, including room and lodge, and car service.
“Most people don’t realize that, that’s why I appreciate you,” Morant’s father told Mitchell. “That’s why I hope the Jazz win a championship. Keep killing it, my guy.”
Donovan Mitchell just went and talked to Ja Morant's family after the series ended before walking off the floor for the final time.
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) June 3, 2021
Mitchell had 30 points and 10 assists in the Jazz close-out victory before crossing the court to talk to the Morant family after the game.
“For me, that’s just how you approach it,” Mitchell told ESPN. “Things are going to happen, and you’ve got to show a side of gratitude — bridging that gap, like he said.”
In addition to his father, the Grizzlies second-year star was also grateful for his warm welcome by Jazz fans who cheered the guard during pregame introductions.
Ja Morant reacts to the way he and his family were treated by the Utah Jazz organization and fans during Game 5.
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) June 3, 2021
“For them to show the love they did on this trip sits in a special place in me and my family’s heart,” Morant said. “We appreciate them.”
Morant also responded the video from ESPN recognizing his father’s kindness, and thanking the Jazz once again.
“Pops a legend fr 💯 y’all don’t know the half,” Morant responded to the video. “Treat everybody the same. like they’re family 🤝 thank you @utahjazz 🙌 & good luck – from me & my fam 🖤.”
pops a legend fr 💯 y'all don't know the half. treat everybody the same. like they're family 🤝
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) June 3, 2021
The Jazz now await the winner between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers to see who they’ll host in the second round of the playoffs.
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