Re “Act of one fan reflects poorly on Boston” (Sports, June 1): I went to Game 4 of the NBA playoff series between the Celtics and the Nets with my dad. It was the first Celtics game at near-full capacity, a memorable experience, to say the least. I was excited to watch Jayson Tatum follow up his 50-point performance with another incredible game, but I was also excited to watch the Nets’ Big 3 in person: Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant are three of the most prolific scorers in the game today, and I was super stoked to watch good basketball. Some in the crowd, however, had other ideas.
One Celtic fan chucked a water bottle at Irving and was ejected. He wasn’t just a bad apple contributing to Boston’s already damaged reputation as a city of hostile, disrespectful sports fans. Throughout the game, even in pregame shootarounds, Celtics fans booed and jeered Irving every time he touched the ball. Obscenity-spiked chants naming Irving rained down throughout the game and after each of his 39 points. It was embarrassing and angering to me that as a city we aren’t mature enough to treat a human being with respect, simply because he switched to a different basketball team. Naomi Osaka’s recent eye-opening remarks and Irving’s post-game comments remind us that athletes are human beings and that what we say impacts their mental health and well-being, just as it would any of us. We all have to be so much better to opposing athletes, as well as to one another.
The writer, 13, is a 7th-grader at Brown Middle School in Newton.