Jazz owner Miller addresses fans after Westbrook encounter

Gail Miller, owner and chairwoman of the Utah Jazz, addresses the crowd. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller released a statement and spoke to the crowd prior to a game Thursday night to address a heated verbal altercation between Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook and a fan earlier in the week.

Utah permanently banned the fan from all arena events, and Westbrook was fined $25,000 by the league for a shouting match Tuesday night.

Miller, who has owned the Jazz for 34 years with her late husband Larry, implored the crowd to do better and said, "We are not a racist community" before a 120-100 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

She implored fans to enjoy the competition and cheer the Jazz as loudly as ever but cautioned, "No one wins when respect goes away."

Players from both teams listened intently and applauded the speech.

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