Boomers slam ‘monkey’ allegations

The fallout from the basketbrawl continues.
The fallout from the basketbrawl continues.

BASKETBALL Australia and the players' association have slammed claims by a Filipino photojournalist who said Boomers players were racially taunting their opposition in the lead-up to the ugly all-in brawl last Monday.

Winston Baltasar told ABC Radio that the word "monkey" was being used by Boomers players during the FIBA World Cup qualifying match near Manila that erupted into a nasty melee.

Baltasar was courtside during the match but could not identify who allegedly made the remark.


"We did hear the word 'monkey' being thrown around ... I couldn't hear exactly who said it, but I did hear it, and like I said when the Boomers were up by 30 points I don't think words like that should be thrown around," he said on the ABC.

The Australian Basketballers' Association CEO and former Australian Boomer, Jacob Holmes, categorically refuted the claims made by Baltasar.

"The allegations made by Mr Baltasar are unsubstantiated and highly defamatory and we are reviewing our legal avenues to address them,'' Holmes said.

"The Boomers pride themselves on their inclusive and diverse composition, just like the country they represent and the comments made by Mr Baltasar and republished by the ABC have caused immense distress to our players.

Philippines players, coaches and supporters attack Australian players. Picture: Getty
Philippines players, coaches and supporters attack Australian players. Picture: Getty

"At no stage was Basketball Australia or the ABA contacted for comment before the allegations were published, in a clear breach of the ABC's own editorial standards."

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Anthony Moore said: "Australian basketball prides itself on being a diverse sport that embraces all sections of the community. We take these allegations against our players extremely seriously and are deeply disappointed the ABC should choose to publish them."

The Boomers squad for the game in Manila included Milwaukee Bucks NBA player Thon Maker who came to Australia after fleeing the war-torn South Sudan.

World governing body FIBA has put together a disciplinary panel to handle the charges that will come out of the brawl which resulted in 13 players being ejected.

Australian guard Chris Goulding was punched, kicked and hit with a chair. His teammate Nathan Sobey was also struck with a chair and coward punched.

Daniel Kickert elbows Roger Pogoy. Picture: FIBA Telecast
Daniel Kickert elbows Roger Pogoy. Picture: FIBA Telecast

A fake tweet trying to falsely paint Goulding as a racist was widely condemned in the aftermath of the incident.

The Philippines team accused Boomers forward Daniel Kickert of kicking Filipino players in the pre-game warm-up the game but vision clearly shows the home side instigated the incident by trying to trip Kickert.