Love for Nia Long flows strongly on social media as her longtime partner, Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, finds himself embroiled in controversy.
Long and Udoka have a 10-year-old son and have been engaged since 2015.
Consequently, many of Long’s supporters expressed their discomfort after reports emerged that the former professional basketball player was facing suspension for allegedly having a consensual relationship with a Celtics staff member.
“Cheating on Nia Long? The end of days has to be upon us. Because NO WAY” tweeted Nina Parkeran Emmy-nominated television host and designer.
On Friday, Long responded to the outpouring with a statement provided to CNN by his representative.
“The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and community during this difficult time means the world to me,” she said in the statement. “I ask that my privacy be respected as I process the recent events. Above all, I am a mother and I will continue to focus on my children.”
She is loved, especially by the black community, as she has starred in such classic films as “Love Jones” and “Boyz N The Hood.”
The Celtics suspended Udoka for the entire 2022-2023 period on Thursday.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said in a statement to ESPN. “I am sorry to have put the team in such a difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
Long hasn’t spoken publicly about the matter, but on Wednesday he shared a new post of a health and wellness video on Instagram which referred to finding the light in the darkness and embracing positivity.
last year, she spoke to popculture.com about Udoka getting the head coaching job after being an assistant for nine years.
“He is one of the most disciplined people I know. She has worked very hard for this and now she just has to get down to business with her players and do what she does best,” she said at the time. “So, it’s an exciting time for our family to be able to sit in the stands.”