Brad Stevens got emotional about what women in the Celtics organization experienced on social media this week.
The Celtics suspended head coach Ime Udoka, who led the team to the NBA Finals in his first year, for the full upcoming season. Initial reports indicated he had a “consensual affair” with a female employee of the team. Later, Shams Charania reported at The Athletic that Udoka was also accused of making “unwanted comments.” Amid the scandal, there has been rampant speculation on social media purporting to implicate women who work for the team.
Friday, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens held a press conference. They sidestepped delineating specifics of Udoka’s conduct — Grousbeck declined to directly answer a question if there was sexual harassment involved.
Stevens took a moment to express his disappointment about what women who work for the Celtics had to endure.
“The only thing that I would like to say is we have a lot of talented women in our organization, and I thought yesterday was really hard on them,” Stevens said. “Nobody can control Twitter speculation — rampant bulls–t — but I do think that we as an organization have a responsibility that we’re there to support them now because a lot of people were dragged unfairly because of that.”
In response to a follow-up question about what the Celtics are doing to support these women, Stevens answered, “There was messaging sent out. There was meetings to make sure everybody’s available and supportive. I think we need to make sure that we’re available for awhile beyond that. That was really unfair in my opinion.
“I don’t know how we can control Twitter. Obviously there’s only so much we can say, but our job is to be there. Yesterday was unfair to them.”
One woman in particular was the subject of reportedly unfounded rumors.
“For those speculating and curious about the Celtics’ situation, Vice-President of Player Development and Organizational Growth Allison Feaster is not involved in this,” Marc Spears of ESPN reported on Thursday.