Kyrie Irving is speaking out about problematic fan behaviour at basketball games.
On Sunday night, a fan was arrested at a game in Boston involving the Celtics and the visiting Brooklyn Nets after he threw a water bottle, narrowly missing Irving’s head.
RELATED: Raptors Coach Nick Nurse Fined US$50K By NBA For Throwing Face Mask, Swearing
"It's unfortunate that sports has come to a lot of this kind of crossroads. … Just underlying racism and just treating people like they're in a human zoo."
Kyrie Irving speaks out after a fan threw a water bottle at him in Boston. pic.twitter.com/IXfE8I0EE8
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 31, 2021
“It’s unfortunate that sports has come to a lot of this kind of crossroads where you’re seeing a lot of old ways come up,” the player told the press after the game, CNN reported.
“It’s been that way in history in terms of entertainment, performers, and sports for a long period of time, just underlying racism and just treating people like they’re in a human zoo,” he continued. “Throwing stuff at people and saying things. It’s a certain point where it gets to be too much […] people just feel very entitled out here.”
The fan in question was subsequently banned from TD Garden.
“We will support and provide assistance to Boston Police as this incident is under review,” a spokesperson for the arena said. “We have zero tolerance for violations of our guest code of conduct, and the guest is subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden.”
RELATED: Russell Westbrook Demands Arenas ‘Start Protecting The Players’ After Fan Dumps Popcorn On Him During Game
The incident comes amid a recent string of similar fan behaviour, which have led to bans from other arenas in the league.
“They paid for their tickets — great, I’m grateful that they’re coming in to watch a great performance,” Irving said. “But we’re not at the theatre. We’re not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people that are performing. It’s just too much.”