Player banned after racial abuse sparks protest

Basketball Otago has banned a player for eight games for racial abuse during a recent premier men’s game.

The association's general manager Peter Drew declined to name the player or discuss the details of the abuse. But the Otago Daily Times understands the athlete is St Kilda Saints player Jamie McDonald.

McDonald declined to comment when contacted.

It is understood he taunted another player with racial noises and gestures during a game late last month.

In protest, members of the Magic club wore anti-racism T-shirts.

Mid City Magic club president Andrew Griffiths could not be reached for comment.

In protest, members of the Magic club wore anti-racism T-shirts. Photo: Supplied
In protest, members of the Magic club wore anti-racism T-shirts. Photo: Supplied

Basketball Otago yesterday released a statement following its investigation into the incident.

"The outcome of the hearing is that the player accepted that he had committed a breach of the code of conduct regarding racial abuse," Drew stated.

"As a result, this player was suspended from playing prior to the hearing, and which will include a total of eight matches of the Dunedin Men’s Basketball League which will run into the 2021 season."

"Basketball Otago is disappointed that the incident marred an otherwise successful 2020 season.

"We reiterate our policy of zero tolerance to racism and any form of unacceptable behaviour by players, coaches, officials or spectators.

"To ensure all parties rights to fairness and privacy we will not be commenting further."

The hearing was undertaken by a four-person panel independent of Basketball Otago.

While Drew declined to be drawn on the specifics of the incident, he did point out Basketball Otago had followed the judicial guidelines set down by the national body.

"We have a policy of zero tolerance and so do Basketball New Zealand.

"As for whether it cast our sport in a bad light, well, look, you can’t control what individuals do. All you can do is how you react to that and the kind of the messages you put out there.

"The issue of racism in sport is a global issue at the moment and it has the spotlight on it.

"And it is an issue we take extremely seriously.

"Thankfully this is the only case that we’ve had in recent times if at all."

Comments

You can control what individuals do in team sport. Get the captain.

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