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Celtics: Fan verbally abused DeMarcus Cousins, but we couldn’t corroborate racist language

Aron Baynes, DeMarcus Cousins

Golden State Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins, left, drives the ball against Boston Celtics’ Aron Baynes (46) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

AP

The Celtics, according to the initial report, banned a fan who said the n-word at DeMarcus Cousins.

But why a two-year, rather than lifetime, ban?

Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston:

This seems reasonable. Racist heckling should be unacceptable. It should be addressed immediately and investigated thoroughly.

But fairness matters, too. It wouldn’t be fair to implement harsh punishment without clear evidence.

The Celtics seemingly released this statement because they faced criticism for not banning the fan longer. Even if the fan said the n-word, I don’t think a lifetime ban would have automatically been appropriate. People can learn from their errors.