California police arrested a Boston Celtics fan who allegedly threw a water bottle at Kyrie Irving, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets as a guard, and charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, officials said.
In a phone call, Boston Police sergeant detective John Boyle said that the suspect, Cole Buckley of Braintree, Massachusetts, is scheduled for an arraignment on Tuesday in Boston Municipal Court. He said that the fan will also be banned for life from TD Garden in Boston.
Police officers arrested Buckley at around 9:46 p.m. after the incident that took place on Sunday. The incident took place during a game where Brooklyn’s won in the first round of the NBA playoffs with a 141-126 score in Game 4.
While the Nets players were making their way out of the court, a water bottle was thrown from the stands just as Irving was walking into the tunnel.
“It’s unfortunate that sports has come to a lot of this kind of crossroad where you’re seeing a lot of old ways come up. It’s been that way in history in terms of entertainment and performers and sports for a long period of time. It’s just underlying racism and treating people like they’re in a human zoo — throwing stuff at people, saying things. There’s a certain point where it gets to be too much,” Irving said.
The incident was caught on camera by YES Network, which officials said was the fourth time in the last week that fans have thrown objects at players or showed unacceptable behavior during NBA games, USA Today reported.
Shortly after the incident, video footage also showed authorities escorting 21-year-old Buckley out of the TD Garden. It was also seen that before the incident, Irving appeared to have stepped on the Celtics logo at midcourt.
“Hopefully we can just keep it strictly basketball (and) there’s no belligerence or any racism going on, or subtle racism (or) people yelling (expletive) from the crowd,” Irving said before the best-of-seven series.