Who is Cole Buckley? Kyrie Irving alleges 'racism' as Boston Celtics fan arrested for 'throwing bottle'
BOSTON: A Boston Celtics' fan was arrested and booked for 'throwing a water bottle' at Kyrie Irving's head following the Brooklyn Nets' 141-126 victory against Boston Celtics on Sunday. The incident took place while Irving was leaving the court at TD Garden on Sunday night. He was walking toward the tunnel when a water bottle flew past him. Irving's 39-point performance helped give Brooklyn a 3-1 series lead over the Celtics.
Talking about the incident, Irving said, "You can see that people just feel very entitled out here. They paid for their tickets -- great, I'm grateful that they're coming in to watch a great performance." He added, "But we're not at the theater. We're not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people that are performing."
Who is Cole Buckley?
Cole Buckley, 21, who is a Boston Celtics fan from Braintree, Massachusetts, was arrested "for throwing an object,'' on Kyrie Irving's head, according to the statement by Boston police. According to the police, a witness identified that Cole threw a Dasani water bottle at Irving. Cole Buckley is now charged with assault and battery using a dangerous weapon and will be arraigned on Tuesday in Boston Municipal Court.
As the bottle narrowly missed Irving, he and his teammate Tyler Johnson immediately looked up into the stands. "You're seeing a lot of old ways come up," Irving said. "It has been that way in history in terms of entertainment, performers and sports for a long period of time and just underlying racism and just treating people like they're in a human zoo. Throwing stuff at people, saying things. There is a certain point where it gets to be too much."
A TD Garden spokesperson said, "We will support and provide assistance to Boston Police as this incident is under review. We have zero-tolerance for violations of our guest code of conduct, and the guest is subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden."
Boston Celtics released a statement about the incident which said, "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." The Celtics concluded that based on their investigation, the fan would be banned for two years.
"Fans got to grow up at some point, " Current Nets star Kevin Durant commented on the incident. "I know that being in the house for a year and a half with the pandemic got a lot of people on edge, got a lot of people stressed out, but when you come to these games, you have to realize these men are human. We are not animals; we are not in the circus. You coming to the game is not all about you as a fan. So, have some respect for the game. Have some respect for the human beings, and have some respect for yourself. Your mother wouldn't be proud of you throwing water bottles at basketball players or spitting on players or tossing popcorn. So, grow the f--- up, and enjoy the game. It's bigger than you, " he added.
This was not the first incident between players and fans in Boston. In 2019, a TD Garden fan was banned for two years for yelling a racial slur at All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins.