Celtics president Danny Ainge suddenly announced this week he was leaving the team, but that wasn’t the only big headline for the basketball team in recent days. A fan was charged this week after he threw a water bottle at Nets player Kyrie Irving, following a number of other recent high-profile incidents of white fans throwing things or spitting at Black players. In for Jim Braude, Adam Reilly spoke with Boston Globe sports writer Gary Washburn, and Esteban Bustillos of GBH News.
After the water bottle incident, Bustillos said Irving referred to the idea that “athletes are seen, especially Black athletes, as nothing more than just that. Their personhood is taken for granted.” Bustillos said his reporting has shown that historically, Black athletes are seen as a “commodity.”
“I think there’s a level of jealousy that they’re successful — especially on your opposing team,” Washburn said about white fans' behavior toward players of color. “It goes back to [the idea that], if they’re your guys, they’re good Black people, good Latinos, because they play for your team.”
WATCH: Racism in sports and the future of the Celtics