Kyrie Irving Booed By Celtics Fans After Comments About 'Subtle Racism'

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The conversation on race took center stage in Boston this weekend -- this time in the NBA.

Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving, who played for the Celtics from 2017 to 2019, said earlier this week that he hoped there would be no "subtle racism" at Game 3 at TD Garden on Friday.

“It’s not my first time being an opponent in Boston,” Irving said to reporters on Tuesday. “I’m just looking forward to competing with my teammates and hopefully we can just keep it strictly basketball. There’s no belligerence or racism going on, subtle racism, or people yelling s--- from the crowd."

Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge responded that he had never heard any racist comments from players throughout his 26 years in Boston.

Celtics player Marcus Smart, however, said that he has heard hateful comments before.

"Yeah, I've heard it. I've hard a couple of things," Smart said. "It's hard to hear that and then have them support us as players. It's kind of sad and sickening."

Player Jaylen Brown also responded to Irving's comments with a full statement, as reported by MassLive.

“I think that racism should be addressed, and systemic racism should be addressed in the city of Boston, and also the United States," Brown said in his remarks. "But I do think racism is bigger than basketball, and I do think racism is bigger than Game 3 of the playoffs."

He added that systemic racism and inequities in the city show up in things like education and schooling, job opportunities, affordable housing, healthcare and more.

“I think that not every Celtics fan—I know that every Celtics fan in our arena is not a racist. We have people of all walks of life, ethnicities, colors, that are die-hard Celtics fans," he said. "However, Boston, we’ve got a lot of work to do, no question."

WBZ NewsRadio's Suzanne Sausville (@WBZSausville) reports:

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Written by Rachel Armany

(Photo: Getty Images)

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