Celtics ban fan for two years over verbal abuse

5:58 PM ET

Tim BontempsESPN

BOSTON — The Boston Celtics issued a press release Friday explaining their resolution to ban a fan for 2 years for being verbally abusive towards Golden State Warriors middle DeMarcus Cousins on the sport between the 2 groups at TD Backyard in January.

“On January 26, we had been alerted by DeMarcus Cousins fan had used racially offensive language in the direction of him. Instantly upon receiving the grievance, the fan, who was a minor, was ejected,” the crew stated within the assertion. “The next day, per our coverage relating to any reported fan habits grievance, the crew initiated an exhaustive investigation of the incident that included reviewing video from a number of angles and figuring out and interviewing quite a few followers, safety personnel, and police within the rapid neighborhood.

“In the middle of this investigation, we had been in a position to conclude that the fan had been verbally abusive towards the Golden State bench, however not one of the interviewed events had been in a position to confirm using racially offensive language, and video proof proved inconclusive. Based mostly on our investigation, the fan was issued a two-year ban from all Celtics video games, and can also be topic to lifetime probation pursuant to our coverage. The punishment for any corroborated discriminatory language used in the direction of any participant, worker, or fan at a Celtics residence sport is a lifetime ban.

“We had been in touch with the Golden State Warriors by means of this course of, sharing our motion plan and the ultimate self-discipline. We specific the deepest regrets that this incident occurred to DeMarcus, as such habits violates the whole lot the Boston Celtics have at all times stood for.”

Yahoo Sports activities reported Thursday that Cousins had been the goal of racially offensive language by a fan in the course of the sport. Golden State gained 115-111.

Earlier than Friday’s sport towards the Indiana Pacers, Celtics coach Brad Stevens addressed the scenario.

“I feel that is one explicit fan,” Stevens stated. “I heard that night time that one thing had been stated and I knew everyone in cost right here was taking it actually severely. I had not heard the outcomes of the investigation or the choice till final night time once they broke the information. I talked just a little bit extra to our individuals with the Celtics this morning.

“It is disappointing any time there is a damaging fan interplay. Most fan interplay that I have been part of, what I might say is 99 p.c of it is good-natured ribbing back-and-forth. However there is not any doubt that this is not the primary time fan has crossed the road and it is not the one time this yr clearly within the NBA, and people are disappointing issues.

“Hopefully it is a reminder for everybody right here and in every single place else: Cheer to your crew, cheer loudly, get pleasure from it. Hopefully admire the fellows on either side.”

Earlier this month, the Utah Jazz banned a fan for all times after he was concerned in a verbal back-and-forth with Thunder guard Russell Westbrook after video surfaced of the incident. The crew then banned a second fan for all times for calling Westbrook “boy” final season after video of that incident additionally got here to mild.

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