Jae Crowder has entered a conversation he never planned to enter.
The Boston Celtics forward recently took issue with home fans cheering for Gordon Hayward, perceiving it as a slight that the Celtics faithful want the Utah Jazz forward on the team. However, some pundits used Crowder’s annoyance as a way to suggest C’s fans prefer Hayward because he’s white.
“I never intended what I said to be about race or anything like that,” Crowder told the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett. “I never even looked at it like that.”
Crowder added that if Boston fans are harboring any hate toward him, then he doesn’t see it himself.
“But race? No. I’ve never had any problem with race in Boston, so I don’t even want to talk about that,” Crowder said. “I never said anything about race. That’s not my statement.”
Racism definitely is a problem in the U.S., but Crowder and other black teammates told Bulpett they’ve never experienced it specifically during their time in Boston. Even assistant coach Walter McCarty, who played for the Celtics from 1997 to 2005 and has lived in the area for over a decade, said he doesn’t see Boston as any more intolerant than anywhere else.
“I’ve lived here for more than 12 years,” McCarty said. “It’s totally not like that, and that bothers me, because I live here and I see it. It’s people who don’t really know the city saying that. They don’t know Boston.
“I’m sure there are still issues, but you could say that about every city. And if you really look at it, we’re one of the better cities when it comes to those issues now. I don’t see us having a lot of those issues that other cities have. It’s just some people having a misinterpretation of what Boston’s really like, and for someone to go ahead and say that, it’s definitely unfair.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images