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Jazz star Donovan Mitchell on harassment of Grizzlies players family: Just terrible and ridiculous – Fox News

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell opened up Friday about the incidents involving fans at Vivint Arena and the family of Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant.

Tee Morant, Ja’s father, told ESPN he and his wife were subjected to racist taunts during Game 2 of the series between the Jazz and Grizzlies. He said the fans went “beyond heckling” and told him at one point “I’ll put a nickel in your back and watch you dance, boy.”

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The Jazz banned three fans after the incident and team owner Ryan Smith and Dwyane Wade, who took a stake in the team, apologized on social media.

Mitchell talked about his reaction when he heard of the incidents.

“It’s beyond unfortunate and it needs to change,” Mitchell said, via The Salt Lake Tribune. “What you’re saying about Ja’s mother and father, you’re saying to my mother and father, (Derrick Favors’) mother and father. You know, it’s not like you’re speaking to the Grizzlies, you’re speaking to a Black man, a Black woman. We’re African-American men and women first. When you go out there and say something like that, that’s just terrible and ridiculous.”

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Mitchell said he didn’t think the incidents would keep potential free agents from coming to Utah.

“I don’t think so. I think we as a team and what we stand for … we put our foot down on these incidents. Look at the team we have now: Jordan Clarkson decided to re-sign; [Derrick Favors] just came back,” he added.

“Let’s call a spade a spade. There is a rep that this happens solely here. As we’ve seen, there’s incidents that happen everywhere. But I don’t think it will necessarily have an impact on guys’ decisions or whether they want to come here or not.”

Mitchell is in his fourth season in the NBA. He averaged 26.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists during the regular season. Mitchell missed Game 1 and played in Game 2. He scored 25 points and grabbed two rebounds.

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Game 3 is Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET in Memphis.

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