Celtics Need to Set an Example and Release Jabari Bird Immediately

Heather Diaz
September 16, 2018

Former Maine Red Claws guard and current Celtics player Jabari Bird was arraigned in court on Monday after being arrested last Friday night following a domestic violence incident.

In a four-hour episode that Bird's girlfriend said began with "trust issues", prosecutors claimed (via the Boston Herald) that Bird "began strangling her using one of his hands and also threw her against a wall".

At the arraignment, Bird was charged with assault and battery with a unsafe weapon, assault and battery of a family or household member, kidnapping and strangulation, following his arrest over the weekend.

The ordeal, sparked by what the woman called "trust issues, ' went on for several hours, she said, until Bird experienced 'seizure-like" symptoms and fell.

According to Boston Celtics beat reporter Tom Westerholm, Bird's release will be pending conditions, including no drugs or alcohol, no weapons, and court-ordered supervision. The judge set Bird's bail at $100,000.

The Celtics released a statement after the arraignment, saying the "organization deplores domestic violence of any kind" and offering no further comment.

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Bird's attorney, Brian Kelly, did not present his client's side of the story during the hearing.

What is Bird's employment status with the Celtics?

He apologized to his family, the Celtics, his teammates, fans and the National Basketball Association "for the unnecessary distraction that I have caused". She then told a member of the Celtics organization, who passed it onto the police and checked in on Bird while the victim was receiving treatment at the hospital. Pursuant to Domestic Violence Policy in the NBA's labor agreement, matters of this kind are handled by the League Office, not the team, and so the Celtics will be working with both the league and local authorities to assist in their ongoing investigations.

It is unclear whether or not Bird will remain in custody at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, where he has been since apprehended, make bail, or be moved to a detention facility.

Boston selected Bird with the 58th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He spent his rookie season on a two-way contract and in July signed a two-year deal, with the first year fully guaranteed at $1.35 million. He appeared in 13 regular-season games for the Celtics last season.

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