Marcus Smart has been open about racist comments he’s heard during his time with the Boston Celtics. And he doubled down on that Thursday.
Kyrie Irving told reporters after the Brooklyn Nets’ Game 2 win that he was hopeful to not hear any “subtle racism” when he returns to TD Garden with fans in attendance for the first time since signing with Brooklyn. Irving’s departure from Boston, as you probably remember, was tumultuous.
The Nets star did say in 2019 he never heard racist comments, so you probably can imagine how his latest statement was received.
Smart met with the media Thursday and was asked if he’s heard Boston fans make racist comments toward opposing players.
“Yeah. I’ve heard a couple of them,” Smart told reporters over Zoom. “It’s kind of sad. It’s sickening. Even though it’s an opposing team we’ve had guys on your home team that you’re saying these racial slurs, and you expect us to go out here and play for you. It’s tough.”
At the end of the day, Smart just wants everyone to be respectful.
“We just want everyone to be respectful, on and off the court,” he said. “We want that same respect that we give to fans and the crowd to come out here and put on a good show and not to interfere in that type of manner with them. We expect the same in return for us.”
Tip-off for Game 3 is set for Friday night at 8:30 p.m. ET.