Emotional Brad Stevens calls out Twitter speculation, says Celtics have to support women in organization


BOSTON — Almost immediately after news broke regarding a potential Ime Udoka suspension on Wednesday night, social media users began to speculate about which female member of the Celtics organization might have been involved. It was, to put it lightly, irresponsible.

On Friday, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens reacted with equal parts sadness and anger when calling out everyone involved in that activity.

“We have a lot of talented women in our organization, and I thought yesterday was really hard on them,” Stevens said with his voice cracking, while speaking alongside C’s owner Wyc Grousbeck at a press conference. “And I think that nobody can control Twitter speculation and rampant bulls–t. But I do think that we as an organization have a responsibility to make sure that we’re there to support them now. Because a lot of people were dragged unfairly into that.”

The press conference itself was short on details, as Grousbeck explained he was seeking to protect the privacy of any involved individuals. And while the team cannot publicly state who was and who was not involved, Stevens said the organization has worked behind the scenes to be as supportive as possible to female employees.

“There was messaging sent out, there was meetings to make sure that everybody’s available and supportive,” Stevens said. “But, you know, I don’t think that — I think we still need to make sure that we’re there for a while beyond that. I think that was really unfair, in my opinion. And I don’t know how we control Twitter, and obviously there’s only so much that we can say. But our job is to support, and our job is to be there as everybody goes through the hard time. And everybody digests this stuff differently, obviously. But that was a — yesterday was unfair to them.”

Grousbeck stated that the Celtics have workplace policies, much like most businesses in corporate America would have, and that the season-long suspension of Udoka is based on enforcing those policies.

“I think this action will help remind everybody of the importance of the policies and procedures governing workplace behavior,” Grousbeck said.

Grousbeck also addressed the leaks, which began Wednesday night with Adrian Wojnarowski’s and Shams Charania’s reports, stating that the team did not leak any information about the matter to the media.

“There were leaks, by the way, around that time [Wednesday]. Obviously we would have nothing to do with that and nothing to gain from that,” Grousbeck said. “And any insinuation about the leaks, we don’t know where they come from. They’re part of the NBA as we all know in this room, but it’s really unfortunate. And it’s unfortunate also that female staff members of the Celtics have been dragged into the public eye unwillingly and inappropriately. And we take a strong stand against that and just regret it for them. It’s really, really unfortunate and not necessary.”



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