Posted on December 26, 2022

Donovan Mitchell Says It Was ‘Draining’ to Be in Utah

Jonathan Sherman, Cavaliers Nation, December 19, 2022

Though Donovan Mitchell was beloved during his time with the Utah Jazz, there is no doubt that the team’s fans don’t have the best reputation.

In fact, the Jazz fan base has been accused of racism many times in the past. For Mitchell, he recently admitted that playing in Cleveland and seeing the city’s many Black residents in the stands at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse has been a rejuvenating experience.

“It’s a little comforting for me, 100%,” he said when asked by Marc J. Spears of Andscape about playing in a predominately Black city. “I’m not going to lie about that. It’s no secret there’s a lot of stuff that I dealt with being in Utah off the floor. If I’m being honest with you, I never really said this, but it was draining. It was just draining on my energy just because you can’t sit in your room and cheer for me and then do all these different things. I’m not saying specifically every fan, but I just feel like it was a lot of things. A [Utah] state senator [Stuart Adams] saying I need to get educated on my own Black history. Seeing Black kids getting bullied because of their skin color. {snip}

“Man, it was just one thing after another. And I will say, it’s not the only place it happens. But for me, I’m continuing to be an advocate for [racial equality] and to receive the amount of pushback I got over the years, it was a lot.”


“And then to be able to not see many of us in the crowd, I tried my best to make sure I invite young Black and brown kids to games, to be around the community. But just to not see us there, it was definitely tough. And being in Cleveland now, you see us courtside. It’s just refreshing. It’s a blessing to be back around people that look like me.