Nia Long Speaks on Ime Udoka’s Suspension [UPDATED]

·3 min read
Photo:  Maddie Meyer (Getty Images)
Photo: Maddie Meyer (Getty Images)

After the tear Black Twitter has been on for the last couple of nights, the Boston Celtics have officially announced that they are suspending Boston Celtics Coach Ime Udoka for the entirety of the 2022-2023 NBA season. This is because of his role in a “consensual intimate relationship” with a woman who is a member of the Celtics organization.

In a statement released on Thursday, it was announced that “the team has suspended Head Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for violations of team policies. A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date. The suspension takes effect immediately.”

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Throughout the day on Thursday, there were reports that Udoka would be suspended for the year, but this statement from the Celtics makes it official.

As you would imagine, Udoka has been quiet about the situation as it’s probably embarrassing for him, his family and his fiancé Nia Long. But in a statement released by ESPN, Udoka finally spoke on the revelation saying, “I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down. I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”

On Friday morning, Long made a statement of her own to TMZ saying, “The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me. I ask that my privacy be respected as I process the recent events. Above all, I am a mother and will continue to focus on my children.”

Long and Udoka share a 10-year-old son. One could only imagine that Long has been going through it herself with all of the speculation that has been going on for the last couple of days.

While users on social media have been quick to compare Udoka’s punishment to the one-year suspension Phoenix Owner Robert Sarver received for being sexist and racist. I think we should all wait for more details on the specifics of the relationship between Udoka and the mystery woman from the Celtics organization before anyone makes any judgments.

People have a right to be angry as Sarver’s actions were heinous, but we still don’t know all that went down with Udoka.

The Athletic on some of the details of the relationship:

Some members of the Celtics organization first became aware of the relationship in July, sources said. At that time, team leadership was led to believe by both parties that the relationship was consensual. But sources said that the woman recently accused Udoka of making unwanted comments toward her — leading the team to launch a set of internal interviews.

The team’s decision and announcement came after a closed-door meeting Thursday that involved team owners and president Brad Stevens and lasted several hours, sources said. Earlier Thursday, Stevens and members of the Celtics front office met with players at the team facility.

Those allegations alone make this situation a lot more complicated than just “two people at a workplace having a consensual intimate relationship.” As more details about this relationship come out, we’ll know if Udoka did or did not deserve the one-year suspension he received.