By Jonas Terrado
San Miguel Beer’s Arwind Santos was fined P200,000 by the PBA on Thursday for directing a monkey gesture at TNT KaTropa import Terrence Jones during Game 5 of the Commissioner’s Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial handed the heftiest fine in recent memory after summoning Santos at the league office in Libis to explain the actions he made with 1:05 left in the second quarter of the Beermen’s 99-94 win Wednesday night.
“Walang lugar ang racial discrimination sa basketball at sports, in general, at sa PBA, in particular. Hindi pinahihintulutan ng liga yung mga ganung aksyon, at kung maulit pa, mas mabigat na sanction ang ipapataw natin,” said Marcial.
(Racial discrimination has no place in basketball, sports in general and the PBA in particular. The league does not condone such actions, and a stiffer punishment will be handed if similar incidents happen in the future.)
“Bilang Commissioner, humihingi ako ng pasensya at pang-unawa kay Mr. Terrence Jones at sa kanyang pamilya. Ang PBA ay tahanan para sa lahat, bukas para sa lahat at walang kinikilalang kulay, lahi o paniniwala,” he added.
(As Commissioner, I would like to apologize and ask for understanding from Mr. Terrence Jones and his family. The PBA is open for everyone regardless of color, race or beliefs.)
Santos also must commit a total of 100 hours of community service and undergo seminar and counseling on equality and racial discrimination.
The veteran forward later used his Twitter account to apologize to Jones and to the public.
— arwind santos (@arwindsotnas) August 15, 2019
“I don’t mean anything bad (to) you (Jones). I hope you forgive me (and) I wanna say sorry,” Santos said in a video that lasted 44 seconds.
“Gusto ko humingi ng taos-pusong pagpapatawad sa fans ng (TNT), San Miguel, PBA at sa lahat ng mga nasaktan. (I would like to sincerely apologize to the fans of TNT, San Miguel, the PBA and all those who were hurt by my actions.)
“Wala po akong masamang intensyon. Inaamin ko po, mali po ako. Sorry po, sana mapatawad niyo po ako. Tao lang po ako na nagkakamali din. Yun lang po. Sana mapatawad niyo po ako. Sorry,” Santos added.
(I have no ill intentions. I admit, I was wrong. I’m sorry, I hope you forgive me. I’m just a person who makes mistakes too. That’s all. I hope you forgive me. Sorry.)
Santos refused to apologize hours after Game 5, saying that the move was done in an attempt at playing mind games with Jones.
Jones condemned Santos’ actions the following day and called on the league to take “swift and significant action.”