PBA commissioner Chito Salud has bared that handing out the lifetime ban on Renaldo Balkman was one of the hardest decisions he ever made at the helm of Asia's first professional cage league.
Asked how hard it was to hand out a life ban, the lawyer said he had to "think and think over" the case after his 45-minute meeting with Balkman before drafting his two-page decision.
But in the end, Salud stressed what became paramount for him was "his responsibility to protect the interest of the league and to shield it from violent and aberrant behavior.”
The son of the late former PBA commissioner Rudy Salud also explained how he came up with the decision to ban Balkman, which came under fire from officials, players, and fans who felt it was too harsh.
“You have to take it into context," he said in a stern voice. "You have to take into consideration his track record, and you have to take into consideration the persons he accosted.
“He made physical contact with the game officials, he used profane language on the game officials and he choked a teammate - evidences which, in my mind, show a total lack of respect for the game, the league, his ballclub and his host country.”