On Thursday (September 22), the Boston Celtics announced the season-long suspension of their head coach due to “violations of team policies,” which included engaging in an “intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise’s staff,” according to ESPN.
Immediately following allegations of Udoka cheating on Long, fans took to Twitter to show their support for the beloved Black actress, who shares a 10-year-old son with the Celtics coach and has been engaged to him since 2015.
“Cheating on Nia Long? End of days has to be upon us. Because ain’t NO WAY,” wrote Nina Parker, an Emmy-nominated TV host and designer.
“Nia Long has an 100% approval rating with Black America and Ime Udoka is about to understand that,” Van Lathan Jr. tweeted.
“Ime Udoka fumbled Nia Long and the NBA Finals,” another Twitter user wrote. “I’ve never seen an L worse than this one.”
In a statement to TMZ, Long asked for privacy as she “processes” her fiance’s alleged affair.
“The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and the community during this difficult time means so much to me,” the statement reads. “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.”
According to TMZ sources, the longtime actress only found out about the alleged affair days ago, despite the Celtics reportedly knowing about Udoka’s consensual relationship with a staffer for months.
Long was blindsided by the news as she had just moved to Boston weeks ago with their 10-year-old son, according to reports.
Udoka apologized in a statement to ESPN following the Celtics announcing his suspension.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” Udoka told ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “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.”