Basketball player Arwind Santos refuses to apologize for racist taunt

Professional basketball player Arwind Santos has refused to apologize to an African-American opponent he taunted by mimicking an ape last night during a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) finals game at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Numerous fans saw Santos, a veteran forward of the San Miguel Beer team, making the gestures while standing near the bench with his teammates. The ugly act was directed at Terrence Jones, an import for opposing team TNT KaTropa and a former Houston Rockets player, and was made with about a minute left in the second quarter of the game, reported Manila Bulletin.

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Most people — we’d like to think all people — know that likening an African-American to an ape is a profoundly racist act, but Santos, one of the PBA’s most decorated players, stubbornly refused to say sorry to Jones.

Arwin Santos making the racist taunt. Photo: Screenshot from W Gameplay PH/ESPN 5

“I’m going to apologize? No,” Santos told reporters in a mix of Filipino and English after the game last night. “It depends on him. If he was annoyed, [that means] he’s a real monkey. If he wasn’t annoyed, he’s not a monkey… We just wanted to win. If he gets annoyed, that’s not my fault. That’s just how basketball is.” (Editor: No, that’s not “how basketball is.”)

Santos further justified his actions by saying he had previously made similar racist taunts against Dorian Peña, a Filipino African-American player, which no one called out at the time.

“I used to do that [in the past], but I never received any warnings. [But] I was given a warning by Commissioner [Willie Marcial] and the coaches [at halftime], that’s why I didn’t do it anymore.

“Basketball is a mind game. Maybe he (Jones) saw it and he’ll get annoyed. That’s in my favor.”

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Netizens, however, refused to buy Santos’ excuses. “Arwind Santos trying to justify his racist gesture is just too damn disappointing. Pls shut your mouth because it’s only getting worse with every word you say,” wrote @fanfangila1106.


“It’s not ‘Mind Games’ anymore Arwind Santos, it’s more like you’re insulting [him] Arwind. Maybe Terrence Jones is kinda ‘Physical’ when he plays but he didn’t deserve this kind of shi*t. Learn how to respect everybody Arwind,” wrote @jess_bernas.


@John_Ang88 was upset that Santos didn’t want to apologize to Jones. “ARWIND SANTOS, I JUST LOST ALL RESPECT FOR YOU MY MAN. IF THE PBA DIDN’T DO SOMETHING TOMORROW I’LL LOSE ALL MY FUCKING RESPECT TO THE PBA AS WELL,” he tweeted.


By the way, for those who care, San Miguel Beer won the game, 99-94. Last night was the fifth in a series of finals games, three of which San Miguel has won.

So, should Santos apologize for taunting Jones? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.

This article, Basketball player Arwind Santos refuses to apologize for racist taunt, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!