Boston Police detained a fan after he threw a water bottle at NBA’s Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving as he was was leaving the court.
Video captured a water bottle tossed in the direction of Irving as he was exiting the floor after the Nets' game four victory against the Boston Celtics. Irving’s teammate Tyler Johnson noticed what had occurred and pointed to the direction from where the bottle was thrown.
A bottle of water appeared to have been thrown at Kyrie Irving as the Nets were exiting the floor in Boston. pic.twitter.com/u6pZDCaArJ— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 31, 2021
Forbes Sports’ Boston Celtics reporter Chris Grenham shared a post showing Boston Police arresting the individual suspected of throwing the water bottle at Irving.
It appears this is the fan who threw the water bottle at Kyrie - looks to be getting cuffed by Boston Police pic.twitter.com/qxCpWhrHTd— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) May 31, 2021
ESPN's Tim Bontemps said a league source confirmed the fan had been arrested while The Athletic's Shams Charania said the fan was banned for life from Boston's TD Garden arena.
A league source confirms to ESPN that the fan who allegedly threw the water bottle at Kyrie Irving has been arrested.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 31, 2021
A fan in Boston has been arrested and banned for life from TD Garden for throwing a water bottle at Nets star Kyrie Irving in postgame tunnel tonight.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 31, 2021
Irving’s star teammate Kevin Durant spoke after the game about the incident, saying that fans should grow up and should know that players “are human” and should respect them.
Kevin Durant has some words for the Celtics "fan" who threw a water bottle at Kyrie Irving:— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) May 31, 2021
"Grow the f--k up and enjoy the game. It's bigger than you." pic.twitter.com/eKCc14Kdhn
“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,” Durant said. “So grow the f--k up and enjoy the game. It's bigger than you."
Irving himself reportedly said after the game that, "You're seeing a lot of old ways come up... just underlying racism and 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."
Kyrie Irving, in part, on the fan throwing a water bottle at him: "You're seeing a lot of old ways come up... just underlying racism and 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."— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) May 31, 2021
This isn't the first time a fan has targeted an NBA player in the past week, drawing an outcry.
On Wednesday, video footage showed Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook getting popcorn thrown at him by a 76ers fan, Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young getting spat on by opposing New York Knicks fan and Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant and his parents being subjected to racist and lewd comments by Jazz fans, ESPN reported on Thursday.
Irving, who has been vocal on social justice and police reform in the U.S., recently said that he hoped he doesn’t hear any “subtle racism” from Celtics fans as he returned to Boston to play against his former team this week.
The Hill has reached out to the NBA and Boston Police Department for comment and any more information on this story.