The Boston Celtics released a statement to the public today, detailing a two-year ban that was issued to a fan who allegedly used a racial slur while being “verbally abusive” to Golden State Warriors center Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins. The incident occurred on January 26, 2019 during the Warriors visit to the TD Garden. Here is the full statement, per the Celtics PR team.
On January 26, we were alerted by DeMarcus Cousins that a fan had used racially offensive language towards him. Immediately upon receiving the complaint, the fan, who was a minor, was ejected. The following day, per our policy regarding any reported fan behavior complaint, the team initiated an exhaustive investigation of the incident that included reviewing video from multiple angles and identifying and interviewing numerous fans, security personnel, and police in the immediate vicinity.
In the course of this investigation, we were able to conclude that the fan had been verbally abusive toward the Golden State bench, but none of the interviewed parties were able to verify the use of racially offensive language, and video evidence proved inconclusive. Based on our investigation, the fan was issued a two-year ban from all Celtics games, and is also subject to lifetime probation pursuant to our policy. The punishment for any corroborated discriminatory language used towards any player, employee, or fan at a Celtics home game is a lifetime ban.
We were in contact with the Golden State Warriors through this process, sharing our action plan and the final discipline. We express the deepest regrets that this incident happened to DeMarcus, as such behavior violates everything the Boston Celtics have always stood for.
News of the event hit the Internet and the airways earlier this week, in a report from Yahoo Senior NBA Insider Chris Haynes.
This is the second notable player-fan incident this month. The Utah Jazz issued a lifetime ban to Jazz fan Shane Keisel, after a heated exchange with Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star guard Russell Westbrook.
The Celtics fan’s ban lasts for two years and includes lifetime probation.