Celtics fan accused of throwing bottle at Nets' Kyrie Irving arraigned, ordered to stay away from TD Garden
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The Boston Celtics fan accused of throwing a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving over the weekend was arraigned in a Massachusetts court on Wednesday on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and was ordered by a judge to stay away from TD Garden.
Cole Buckley, 21, appeared in the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court where he pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. His attorneys filed a motion to postpone the arraignment which was denied by the judge who also set bail at $500.
“No one who would take these types of actions has any business identifying themselves as fans of the game,” District Attorney Rollins said. “Purchasing a ticket does not buy you a free pass for obnoxious, racist or assaultive behavior. The cost of admission affords you the privilege of attending the game. The cost of abusing that privilege through criminal behavior is prosecution.”
Cameras caught Buckley throwing the bottle at Irving as the Nets’ guard was walking back to the locker room with teammate Tyler Johnson. Irving and Johnson turned back and later the fan, who was in a Celtics Kevin Garnett jersey, was put into handcuffs by Boston police and led out of the arena.
“Imagine if a stranger showed up at your job and threw a water bottle at your head,” Rollins added. “We have mandated civility and sportsmanship in all youth sports, yet condone profanity-laced chants and a ‘Shut Up and Dribble’ mentality for certain professional sports and athletes?”
He continued: “There is a growing and disturbing trend in the NBA of players being physically and verbally assaulted with profanity and blatantly racist statements. That behavior is completely unacceptable. When these type of acts rise to the level of criminal offenses, the individuals who commit these offenses can and should expect to face prosecution. This is an unprovoked act of workplace violence against Kyrie Irving and the police officer.”
Irving spoke out about the incident with reporters.
“[It’s] just underlying racism, and treating people like they’re in a human zoo,” he said. “Throwing stuff at people, saying things. There’s a certain point where it gets to be too much. You see people just feel very entitled out here. … As a Black man playing in the NBA, dealing with a lot of this stuff, it’s fairly difficult. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Buckley is due back in court on Aug. 5. Two other men, William Leite and Michael Oliver, were also arraigned on Wednesday for other offenses committed at TD Garden during the same playoff game.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.
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