Jabari Bird, who was a guard for the Boston Celtics before a domestic-violence charge alleged Bird strangled his girlfriend for four hours, as well as kicked her in the stomach. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports Bird was dealing with “emotional issues” prior to the incident:
A number of sources have stated to the Herald that actions leading to Jabari Bird’s arrest on domestic-violence charges seem very much “out of character.” But those close to the situation say the Celtics guard had begun dealing with emotional issues in the weeks prior to the Sept. 7 incident.
While the woman was being treated at a Boston area hospital, Bird was at a separate facility. It was first thought he was dealing with his own injuries, but it’s been confirmed he was undergoing psychiatric evaluation from the time of his arrest until his arraignment last Thursday.
People around Bird have been aware that he recently had been experiencing, according to one source close to him, “panic attacks and things like that. It wasn’t a long-term thing, but everyone knew. The Celtics knew there was something going on and he was being treated.”
Said another, “This wasn’t one of the domestic-violence situations you usually see where someone gets jealous for one thing and loses control. There was something deeper going on here with (Bird). This was a bad situation.”
No one seemed to believe Bird’s emotional issues would manifest themselves as they did, but now they have impacted someone else. His girlfriend received medical treatment and reported the incident. She may have saved Bird from a greater problem by making it known he had sent a text threatening to kill himself if she did not return to his apartment.
The Celtics gave the following statement after news of the incident first broke:
"Our thoughts are with the victim of this incident. The Celtics organization deplores domestic violence of any kind, and we are deeply disturbed by the allegations against Jabari Bird"
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 13, 2018