During the early stages of the series between the Utah Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies, some Jazz fans taunted Ja Morant’s family and even used racial slurs while his family was in the stands. Three fans were caught in the aftermath, and they were all banned from the arena. Following this unfortunate incident, the Jazz issued an apology to Morant’s family and even offered them free courtside seats, as well as lodging in Salt Lake City.
While most of Morant’s family declined the offer, Ja’s father Tee made sure to attend Game 5, where the Jazz eventually ended the series. Following the game, Tee Morant went up to Jazz star Donovan Mitchell and thanked him for his team’s treatment of the Morant family following the fan incident. In fact, Tee even said that he hopes the Jazz go on to win it all.
“Hey yo, I’m going for y’all right now,” Morant said. Y’all didn’t have to show love to us like that. This is what I’m saying: When s— goes bad and then you reach out, that’s how you bridge the gap. Most people don’t realize that. That’s why I appreciate you, and that’s why I hope the Jazz win the championship.”
While speaking to reporters after the game, Mitchell explained just how much Tee’s support means to him and the team, moving forward. “For me, it was just the ultimate sign of respect,” Mitchell said. “You see him talking about the way he handled it, the way we went about it. For me, that’s just how you approach it. Things are going to happen, and you’ve got to show a side of gratitude — bridging that gap, like he said.”
Now, the Jazz are waiting for the winner of the series between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers. No matter what, this will be a tough test for the Jazz, who are looking like favorites to come out of the West.
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images