MANILA – The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has handed down a 10-day suspension against Bernard Santos, a staff of D-League’s Cagayan Valley, for his racial slur against NLEX’s Ola Adeogun.
After hearing the sides of both Santos and Adeogun, PBA Commissioner Chito Salud said he found Santos guilty of racially insulting the NLEX player.
Santos was caught waving a banana at Adeogun while the NLEX Road Warriors were battling Cagayan Valley Rising Suns in the PBA D-League last month.
“Let me state that racism has no place in the PBA and should be unacceptable in sports in general,” said Salud in a statement.
“Whether out of malice or ignorance, the act of waving a banana while carrying out motions akin to an animal is decidedly racially derogatory and pejorative. Such act and other acts that are racially colored will be dealt with as sternly as possible by this league,” he added.
Santos apparently waved the banana to distract the NLEX bigman during the game. NLEX, the defending champion of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, lost the match, 78-74.
“On behalf of the PBA, this Office extends its sincere apology to Mr. Ola Adeogun for the unfortunate incident to which he was exposed,” said Salud. “Let me assure him and his countrymen that the Philippines is blind to color, race and creed.”