Skip to main content

Danny Ainge Responds To Kyrie Irving's Racism Remarks

Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics.

WALTHAM, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: General manager Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics speaks with the media during Boston Celtics Media Day on September 26, 2016 in Waltham, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

On Friday night, Kyrie Irving will return to TD Garden where he and the Brooklyn Nets will take on the Boston Celtics. Irving expressed earlier this week he's concerned about "subtle racism" he may receive from Celtics fans.

It's no secret Irving's stint in Boston came to a dramatic end. And there's no doubt Celtics fans are still sour about how things transpired. So it shouldn't come as a surprise if Boston fans boo Irving Friday night. Irving's expecting it.

“I mean it’s not my first time being an opponent in Boston,” Irving said earlier this week, via NESN.com. “So, you know, I’m just looking forward to competing with my teammates, and hopefully we just keep it strictly basketball. You know there’s no belligerence or any racism going on, subtle racism and people yelling (expletive) from the crowd. But even if it is, it’s part of the nature of the game and just gonna focus on what we can control.”

Irving then went on to say he isn't the only NBA player who's heard racist remarks from Celtics fans in the past.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge is surprised by Irving's comments. In all the years he's spent in Boston, neither he or players he's either managed or played with have experienced the environment Irving referred to.

“I think that we take those kind of things seriously,” Ainge said, via NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg. “I never heard any of that, from any player that I've ever played with in my 26 years in Boston. I never heard that before from Kyrie and I talked to him quite a bit.”

Most expect Friday night's TD Garden to be one of the most raucous environments this season. Kyrie Irving is, without a doubt, the biggest reason why.