Golden State Warriors player DeMarcus Cousins has talked extensively about how he’s been on the receiving end of nasty racist taunts by fans and his dismay over the NBA’s reluctance to address the matter.
Now, the Boston Celtics have stepped up to say they’ve banned a fan for two years who harassed Cousins and was verbally abusive toward the Warriors center during a game back in January at the TD Garden, ESPN reports.
On Friday, they released a statement about the decision:
“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 team said in the statement. “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.”
Last month, Cousins talked about his experiences of being called the “N-word” by fans on several occasions on Yahoo’s “Posted Up” podcast. Cousins claims he told the NBA what happened in these instances, but was reprimanded anyway.
“Oh, I’ve been called n****r,” he said to Yahoo. “And it’s crazy because this has happened to me on a few occasions. I reported it to the league, and, you know, I may have said whatever I said back and I was still punished for it.
After an investigation, the fan was given a two-year ban, along with the lifetime probation after that.
Last month, the Utah Jazz team banned a fan for racist taunts against Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook.