HE may not have been affected by it personally, but Meralco forward Cliff Hodge knows that Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao’s “mongoloid” slur offended his family.
Unknown to many, Hodge’s 31-year-old brother Christopher has Down Syndrome.
“There’s no way (Guiao) could’ve known that, but you know, my oldest brother, he’s specially disabled, too,” Hodge bared to Spin.ph on Friday after an appearance before league commissioner Chito Salud.
Mongoloid is a derogatory term referring to people with Down Syndrome.
On Friday, Guiao was hit with a P100,000 fine for trying to confront Hodge - and later calling him a "mongoloid" - for his closed-fist hit on Painters center Raymond Almazan in the endgame of Game Two of the quarterfinals earned the ire of Guiao.
Hodge was made to pay a P20,000 fine for the flagrant foul 2 on Almazan which he maintained was not intentional.
“I didn’t even know what it was until my girlfriend told me that it was very bad term out here, especially for kids with disabilities and stuff,” said Hodge.
“First I thought it was in the heat of the moment. I know he probably didn’t want to say that, but you’re mad and you’re trying to protect your players. I understand that.”
“But he still said it and I know it hurts a lot of people,” Hodge added. “I was kind of sad that anybody using any type of word to call out somebody else that’s special, it kind of affects everyone. You don’t want to really want to make fun of somebody that can’t do anything about it.”
Still, Hodge refused to believe that Guiao “meant to blow up as much as he did,” saying he hasn't lost his respect for the fiery Rain or Shine coach.
“Coach Yeng’s a good coach and I have all respect for him and his players.”