THE team manager of PBA D-League side Cagayan Valley insisted on Thursday that the banana taunt made by a Rising Suns staffer against NLEX's Nigerian big man Ola Adeogun was not racist in nature as he pinned the blame on Spin.ph for "blowing the issue out of proportion."
Cagayan team manager Frederick Collado appeared at the PBA office to accompany team utility man Bernard Santos, who was summoned by Commissioner Chito Salud after a video released by Spin.ph showed him holding up a banana while calling out Adeogun's name in a game last Wednesday.
They Said It!
“Hindi naman racism yun, ginawa mo lang racism. Monkey lang ba ang kumakain ng saging? … Pati nga mga manok (fighting cock) namin kumakain ng saging." - Cagayan team manager Frederick Collado
Salud vowed that the incident "shall be dealt with accordingly."
“I had a lot of questions to him. But my point here is that racism has no place in the league and shall be dealt with accordingly,” said Salud after emerging from the meeting with Santos and Collado.
“Hindi ko naman sinasabi na racist remark agad yung ginawa niya, but I already told him to be careful next time with his actions, especially if he is not aware of the gravity,” the league chief added.
Salud has yet to make a decision as he has yet to meet with Adeogun, who, according to Santos, initiated the taunting after the 22-year-old Road Warriors big man allegedly called him "baboy."
Speaking to Spin.ph shortly after the meeting with Salud, Collado said Santos was merely cheering for their team and his action was not discriminatory in nature, insisting it had nothing to do with Adeogun's race.
Instead, he pinned the blame on Spin.ph for hyping up a non-issue.
“Pinakita dun (sa story) na mali ka … pinalaki mo lang kasi yung story,” said Collado. “Hindi naman racism yun, ginawa mo lang racism. Monkey lang ba ang kumakain ng saging? … Pati nga mga manok (fighting cock) namin kumakain ng saging.”
Here's the complete interview with Collado:
Collado pointed out that Santos never even called Adeogun names.
“Pinalaki mo lang 'yung story, cheering lang 'yun. Part of the game, part of cheer. Walang racism dun, ang racism dun if you call him (Adeogun) monkey or gorilla,” Collado said.
Asked what was Santos' motive when he held up a banana while chanting the name of Ola, Collado insisted it was not the team staffer's intention to insult the Nigerian center.
“Hindi yun ang purpose nun (asarin o tawaging monkey si Adeogun). Like nga yung sinasabi ko, hindi lang naman monkey ang kumakain ng banana … ikaw (writer) rin naman kumakain ng saging,” he added.
Asked if he will be pissed if he is called out with a banana, Collado replied: "Saging lang 'yun eh. Bakit ako magagalit, di ba?"