On Sunday, Brooklyn Nets
star Kyrie Irving
came dangerously close to being hit by a water bottle thrown by a Celtics fan in Boston
, the latest incident of abusive spectator behavior during the NBA
Irving claimed that fans
were "treating people
like they were in a human zoo
," implying "underlying racism
According to ESPN, he stated, "There comes a point where it's just too much."
The bottle was thrown at Irving as he and his teammates exited the court after their 141-126 victory over the Celtics to take a three-game lead.
: @YESNetwork #NBAPlayoffs #NBATwitter #TheJump pic.twitter.com/UTk27a43kB — The Jump on ESPN (@NBATheJump) May 31, 2021
According to reports, a man wearing a Celtics jersey was escorted up the arena steps by police
, and he was arrested and faces a lifetime ban from the NBA team's home arena.
“We are not animals
. We are not in the circus,” Nets teammate Kevin Durant said after the game. “You coming to the game is not all about you as a fan, so have some respect for the game, some respect for human beings, and some respect for yourself.”
Irving, a former Boston Bruins player, is the latest victim of inappropriate fan behavior as more people return to the stands as pandemic
Last week, Washington Wizards
guard Russell Westbrook
was showered with popcorn
on the same day Atlanta Hawks
guard Trae Young
was spit on at New York
's Madison Square Garden, and fans made racist
and vulgar remarks toward Memphis
Grizzlies guard Ja Morant's father during a game in Utah
, and the fans were banned indefinitely.