2 year ban on Celtics Fan

Isabella Molloy, Editor

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On Jan 26, 2019 at the home court of the Boston Celtics, an unnamed Celtics fan was banned for muttering a racial slur at Golden State Warriors player DeMarcus Cousins. Upon receiving the complaint from Cousins, an arena security guard ejected the fan, identified as a minor, from the TD Garden in Boston, MA.

The fact that DeMarcus Cousins was able to hear the person and report him to security reveals that the fan was likely seated about 15 feet away from the court. After being removed from the stadium, the fan denied Demarcus’ claim that he had been racially abused. The following day, according to Sporting News, a statement from the Celtics, stating the policy allowing them to take charge after any reported fan behavior complaint, lead the Celtics team to investigate the incident. After capturing video footage from a number of angles and extensively interviewing multiple fans, no one was able to verify the use of racially offensive language. Eventually, the Celtics came to the conclusion that they would ban the fan, even though there was no hard evidence, from all home Celtics games. The Boston Herald says that the fact that the fan is a minor also factored into the decision of the two-year ban. If the minor violates the two-year ban, he will be banned from the TD Garden for life.

A source that has been in contact with the Boston Celtics for many years told the Boston Globe that this is the first time a fan has been banned from the TD Garden for reportedly using racially abusive language. Celtics player Marcus Smart told the Boston Globe that “It’s real discouraging to hear that it happened here, especially being an African-American player who plays for the organization.” After thinking about the incident, Smart thought about how he gives his heart out to the fans every night so to hear of the incident “is disappointing and kind of makes you rethink a little bit.”

Keeping in touch with the Golden State Warriors, Demarcus Cousins claimed that he has had similar experiences with fans directing all sorts of derogatory terms at him while on the court. According to the Washington Post, because of such incidents, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has reminded teams to clearly state and strictly enforce their code of conduct policies governing fan misbehavior. In no other sport can fans get so close to the players, and with that comes the league’s responsibility to protect the players from such incidents. While the Celtics fan’s punishment is a two-year ban, it is a light consequence to suffer in comparison to a Boston Red Soxs fan who was banned from Fenway Park for life for the use of a racial slur towards another fan. The incident at the TD Garden made the league realize that they need to be more open with the players regarding policies, but as a league they should have gone further to ensure fans and players of Boston that this would no longer be a part of the fan culture in Boston.