The NBA Russell Westbrook $25,000 today for his actions Monday night during Oklahoma City’s game at Utah. Westbrook used the “F” work at a fan and his wife for what Westbrook said was a derogatory and racist comment thrown at him.

I’m not a great fan of Westbrook, although he’s certainly a great player, but nobody should be disrespected to that extent as Westbrook allegedly was by these fans.

Just because somebody is making millions while you are not, and just because someone is black and you are not, doesn’t give you license to verbally or physically attack someone.

I think this sort of behavior is systematic of a greater problem we have in this country now that we have a racist in the White House that empowers people who have racist tendencies to come out in public and not only express racists thoughts, but sometimes to act on them in violent ways.

That may not be the case here, but we have seen more and more racist incidents across America since the Donald has taken office, and I don’t think that is a coincidence.

What happened in Utah, which is predominantly white (blacks make up just 2 percent of the population in Salt Lake City where the Utah Jazz play their home games), reminds me of a game night we had in a visiting town (I’m not going to identify it) while I was an assistant basketball coach at Bremerton High School. Our team was made up of a squad that was half white and half black and fans of that town made rude, insensitive and racist comment about our team while the game was being played and after the game.

Some of our black kids wanted to go after these fans, just as Westbrook did, but we coaches held them back. But we did make sure that our kids lined up in a straight line as we came out of the lockerroom post-game and that our kids did not respond to the remarks that came at them as we left the gym out the doors to our bus.

I was shocked at the behavior of these fans, and this was before the Donald was elected President. I know racism simmers just below the surface in our society, but I did not expect such a public display, and against innocent kids just because they had a different skin color.

It is my belief that we are all Americans regardless of color. Why people are unjustly treated just because of skin color is not just disrespectful and disgusting it is horrible.

But if I had been Westbrook, I would have reacted differently. I would have called attention to what was going on to the proper officials and let them handle it. The fan has been given a lifetime ban to Utah games as punishment. We were lucky that it didn’t turn violent, but the incident shows that we still have a long ways to go in race relations in our society.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.