Meralco’ s Cliff Hodge. Photo by Nuki Sabio, PBA Images
MANILA – Meralco player Cliff Hodge said he felt sad after Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao used the term “mongoloid” when the tactician accosted him for his rugged play last Wednesday.
The Filipino-American admitted that at first, he didn’t know the slur referred to people with Down Syndrome. But when he realized what it meant, he knew that a lot of people would be offended.
“I was kind of sad that anybody using any type of word to call out somebody else that’s special, it kind of affects everyone. You don’t want to really want to make fun of somebody that can’t do anything about it,” the Filipino-American said in Karlo Sacamos’ report to Spin.ph.
Ironically, Hodge has a brother afflicted with Down Syndrome.
Hodge, however, understands why Guiao resorted to name-calling after the latter blew his top when he saw one of his players hurt.
The Meralco power forward figured in a physical play that saw him errantly hitting Rain or Shine’s Raymond Almazan on the face.
This led to the coach-player confrontation where the word mongoloid was uttered.
“I know he probably didn’t want to say that, but you’re mad and you’re trying to protect your players. I understand that,” Hodge said, referring to Guiao’s actions.
Hodge also maintained that he didn’t mean to hurt Almazan, adding the hit was merely an accident.
“I’m not going out to punch anybody in the face. Never would I go out [and do that intentionally],” he said in a separate Spin.ph report.
Hodge said he will apologize to Almazan before their game on Saturday.
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) slapped Guiao with a P100,000 fine for resorting to name-calling against Hodge.
Hodge was meted a P20,000 fine and a penalty upgrade of Flagrant Foul 2 for hurting Almazan.