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Lakers’ Russell Westbrook Discusses Harassment Family Has Faced, Vows to Push Back on Chants

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook has spoken out about the harassment he and his family have received during his first season with the Lakers, specifically discussing the criticism and “death threats” made against his family as he and his wife spoke on social media.

While Westbrook says the criticism is nothing new to him, he and his wife are speaking out to defend the honor of the family name and to protect their children. The Westbrooks have three children: 4-year-old Noah and twin 3-year-old daughters, Jordyn and Skye.

“I 100 percent stand behind my wife and how she’s feeling,” Westbrook said following the Lakers loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “When it comes to basketball, I don’t mind the criticism of missing and making shots. But the moment it becomes where my name is getting shamed, it becomes an issue.

“I’ve kind of let it go in the past because it never really bothered me. But it really kind of hit me the other day. Me and my wife were at teacher-parent conferences for my son. And the teacher told me, ‘Noah, he’s so proud of his last name. He writes it everywhere. He writes it on everything. He tells everybody and walks around and says, ‘I’m Westbrook.’ … And I kind of sat there in shock, and it hit me, like, ‘Damn. I can no longer allow people [to besmirch my name].'”

“‘Westbrick,’ for example, to me, is now shaming,” Westbrook stated. “It’s shaming my name, my legacy for my kids. It’s a name that means, not just to me, but to my wife, to my mom, my dad, the ones that kind of paved the way for me.”

“A lot of times, I let it slide. But now it’s time to put a stop to that and put it on notice,” he said. “There’s a difference. We need to make sure it’s understood. And every time I do hear it now, I will make sure that I address it and make sure I nip that in the bud.”

Westbrook, who is the Lakers highest paid player, spoke about how this has impacted his children.

“It affects them even going to games,” he said. “Like, I don’t even want to bring my kids to the game because I don’t want them to hear people calling their dad nicknames and other names for no reason because he’s playing the game that he loves. And it’s gotten so bad where my family don’t even want to go to home games, to any game … and it’s just super unfortunate, man. And it’s super upsetting to me.

“I’m at a point where I’m going to continue to address it. It’s just unfortunate.”

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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