The independent law firm probe into Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka reportedly found that he used crude language in his dialogue with a female subordinate prior to the start of an improper workplace relationship with the woman.
Udoka was officially suspended by the team last Thursday for a violation of team policies after he reportedly had a consensual relationship with a female staffer.
Investigative findings into the coach revealed that Udoka used language that has been deemed ‘concerning coming from a workplace superior’.
It is likely to have significantly factored into his one-year suspension and contribute to making it especially difficult for Udoka to be reinstated as Celtics coach in 2023, according to ESPN.
The power dynamic associated with the improper relationship was reportedly the primary finding and policy violation in the law firm report commissioned by the Celtics and completed early last week.
At a news conference last week, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck confirmed that the one-year suspension was a result of multiple team policies.
An investigation into Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka revealed that he used crude language in his dialogue with a female subordinate before beginning an affair with the woman
At a news conference last week, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck confirmed that the one-year suspension was a result of multiple team policies
The Celtics will reportedly not stand in the way of Udoka pursuing a coaching position elsewhere and teams are said to have tried to gather a preliminary understanding of the full explanation for the suspension in preparation for possibly evaluating him for future employment.
According to The Athletic, some members of the Celtics learned about Udoka’s relationship in July, and team leaders were initially led to believe the relationship was consensual.
However, Udoka recently made unwanted comments to the woman and that led the team to launch internal interviews.
The suspension was finalized following a closed-door meeting with owners and team president Brad Stevens, which lasted several hours. Stevens and other team executives also met with players at the team facility, according to the report.
Joe Mazulla, a 34-year-old who served as a Celtics assistant last year, will be the interim coach for the 2022-23 season.
Some members of the Celtics reportedly learned about Udoka’s relationship in July
In his place, assistant Joe Mazzulla (L) will become interim head coach after another assistant coach Will Hardy (R), left Boston to become head coach of the Utah Jazz
Udoka apologized to the players, fans and team for ‘putting the team in a difficult situation’ in statement released last week.
‘I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,’ Udoka’s statement read. ‘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.’
The chaotic situation at the Celtics escalated September 23 when Udoka’s fiancee, actress Nia Long, said she had been ‘blindsided’ by the affair and found out just days after moving back to Boston to be with his longtime beau.
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air actress has been with Udoka for over a decade and share a 10-year-old son, but their family bliss was destroyed this week.
It’s believed that Long discovered the infidelity only when the Celtics announced the suspension of their coach.
Udoka has been engaged to actress Nia Long (left), who gave birth to the couple’s son in 2011
Nia Long is pictured, right, with the couple’s 10-year-old son recently and, left, on social media
‘The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me,’ Long said through her spokeswoman.
‘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,’ she said.
Celtics reporter Amanda Pflugrad was forced to deny claims she was the female staffer involved with Udoka and slammed the incessant social media speculation surrounding the identity of the female employee.
The decision was made to keep the name of the woman involved a secret but many have claimed this has led to unfair speculation online and has dragged multiple innocent women into the rumors, and that point has been echoed by Pflugrad – herself an employee of the Celtics.
‘As a female of the Celtics organization, watching these last few days unfold has been heartbreaking,’ she wrote on Twitter Friday.
‘Seeing uninvolved people’s names thrown around in the media, including mine, with such carelessness is disgusting. This is a step backwards for women in sports who have worked hard to prove themselves in an industry they deserve to be in.’
Alongside the post, she added: ‘It’s time to speak up on this matter and to my female coworkers, I see you and I am always here #womeninsports.’
Amanda Pflugrad (right) is a Celtics reporter who has been dragged into online rumors
Pflugrad has slammed the ‘heartbreaking’ and ‘disgusting’ rumors flying around online
She is one of many female members of staff in the organization that have been dragged in
Meanwhile, Long became a household name with her role in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air as Lisa Wilkes, Will Smith’s girlfriend.
She also starred in Boyz In The Hood, Soul Food and Big Momma’s House.
The beloved actress is also the recipient of three NAACP Image Awards and a Black Reel Award.
As news of the affair spread across social media this week, Long’s fans and famous friends leaped to her defense.
Many chastised Udoka for his indiscretion, asking how he could have betrayed the actress – a universally popular star and one of the most beautiful actresses of her generation.
‘Sending nothing but love to Nia Long.
‘We’re not letting a man, who didn’t recognize the luxury her presence was, dim all her beauty and glory.
‘Matter of fact, we need a Nia Long national holiday!’ tweeted New York Congressman Jamaal Bowmann.
‘Nia Long has an 100% approval rating with Black America and Ime Udoka is about to understand that,’ added film producer Van Lathan.
‘Cheating on Nia Long? End of days has to be upon us because ain’t NO WAY,’ added producer Nina Parker.
Celtics team president Brad Stevens and Grousbeck addressed the media on Friday, and strongly rebuked the now-suspended Udoka, noting that only he was ‘facing penalty or reprimand.’
According to Grousbeck, the organization’s players are ‘very concerned’ about the situation.