January 31, 2023

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Donovan Mitchell on time at Utah before first game against Jazz: 'It was just really draining my energy'

Donovan Mitchell on time at Utah before first game against Jazz: ‘It was just really draining my energy’


There is no perfect city in the NBA, but one market that constantly seems to create problems between players and fans is Salt Lake City. The Utah Jazz They’ve been playing there for more than four decades, but the common thread at the time is players expressing frustration about the actions of their fan base there. Russell Westbrook and Ja Morant have both had encounters with these fans in recent years, but even the Utah players themselves have struggled in their interactions with them.

Donovan Mitchell is one of those players. He spent the first five seasons of his career in Utah, but is now a member of the Cleveland CavaliersHe talks about the way fans in his home city were treated in the NBA.

“It’s no secret that there’s a lot of stuff I dealt with in Utah that’s far from Earth,” Mitchell said. Mark J Spears from Andscaped. “If I’m being honest with you, I never said that, but it was draining. It was draining my energy just because you couldn’t sit in your room cheering on me and then do all these different things. I’m not saying specifically every fan, but I feel like there was a lot.” of things [Utah] state senator [Stuart Adams] I say I need to learn about my own black history. Seeing black children being bullied because of the color of their skin. See a little girl [Isabella Tichenor] She hangs herself because she is being bullied.”

Now that Mitchell has played in a more diverse Cleveland, he calls it “a blessing to be back around people who look like me.” He also told the story of a particularly stressful interaction with a police officer. Mitchell explained, “I got pulled over once. I got a hold of a cop until I gave him my ID.” And that made me wonder forever what happens to a young black kid in Utah who doesn’t have that power to be like, ‘This is who I am.'” And that was one of the things I took very seriously.”

Sadly, racism exists in every market in the NBA and, in fact, throughout the United States. It cannot be completely avoided. But Mitchell’s stories about Utah are not exclusive to his experience there. Several players have expressed issues with the fans in Salt Lake City. Mitchell is glad he found a new home, but it’s unfortunate that he had to deal with these issues in the first place.

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