The Boston Celtics issued an official statement on Friday afternoon, elaborating on the two-year ban of a fan who allegedly directed a racial slur at Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins.
The statement explained that the fan, who was a minor, was found to be “verbally abusive” towards Cousins, but the team’s investigation could not verify that a racial slur was used.
Cousins reportedly saw the minor mouth the n-word at him from the stands, which then led him to contact TD Garden security, according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.
The Celtics were in contact with the Warriors and the league during and after their investigation, and both parties were satisfied with the outcome, per Himmelbach’s report. The report also states that Cousins “did not wish to turn (the situation) into a bigger issue”.
The selection of a two-year ban, rather than a lifetime one, was because the Celtics were unable to verify the use of a racial slur — not because they were dubious about Cousin’s claim, per Himmelsbach.
The Utah Jazz gave lifetime bans to a pair of fans in early March following reports of derogatory statements being directed at opposing players.
“We express the deepest regrets that this incident happened to DeMarcus,” the Celtics said in their Friday afternoon statement, “as such behavior violates everything the Boston Celtics have always stood for.”
Brad Stevens shared his thoughts on the incident prior to Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers.