Racism has no place in professional basketball, and sports leagues have a responsibility to keep it that way.
That’s the message that Terrence Jones, a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) import player, offered on social media today in the wake of racist taunts he received from longtime PBA star Arwind Santos.
During last night’s game between TNT KaTropa and the San Miguel Beer team, numerous fans saw veteran San Miguel forward Santos mimicking the actions of an ape, gestures that were directed at Jones, a former member of the NBA’s Houston Rockets and now a player for TNT KaTropa.
When reporters asked Santos after the game if he planned to apologize to Jones, he stubbornly refused and said it was simply his way of playing mind games with the African-American athlete.
In a Twitter post that appeared on Jones’ account this afternoon, he called Santos’ actions unacceptable. “Swift, significant action needs to be taken by the PBA to send a STRONG message that racism in ANY form will NOT be tolerated,” he wrote.
In his tweet, Jones tagged the accounts of media organizations ESPN and CNN as well as the National Basketball Association.
As a father & black man this can’t be ignored. It’s UNACCEPTABLE. Swift, significant action needs to be taken by the PBA to send a STRONG message that racism in ANY form will NOT be tolerated.”@espn @Sports5PH @NBAonESPNRadio @NBAOfficial @SI_PHnews @KentuckyMBB @CNN @cnnsport https://t.co/Np6iCvc54I
— Terrence Jones (@TerrenceJones1) August 15, 2019
In a lengthier post on his Instagram account, Jones wrote that he typically does not react to negative things that have been said about him. “[B]ut as a father and a black man, this can’t be ignored,” he wrote.
“I came to the PBA to play — and to share my talent — in a country where I have tremendous respect for its culture and its people. My son is of Filipino descent. I cannot and will not tolerate racial slurs and gestures. They’re not only disrespectful to me but to my family and my race,” Jones added.
Jones also shot down Santos’ excuse that the ape act was just a way of messing with his head.
“This wasn’t a case of ‘mind games’ in an athletic competition — it was racism. Period.”
In his post, Jones attached a Spin.ph article which showed Santos making the racist gestures during the game.
Filipino netizens expressed support for Jones and some have even offered their apologies.
“I’m disappointed with this incident, Terrence. I apologize in behalf of Filipinos,” wrote @hoopjunkie. “There is no room for this kind of blatant racist gesture, period.”
Another fan, @lhi205, called on the PBA to take action. “Shame on you Arwind disrespectful!!!” he added.
Over on Twitter, @best1nDworld said Santos is doomed. “Terrence is a legitimate NBA player and has contacts with those org/company that are tagged in this tweet. [N]o to racism!! specially from a Filipino who are so sensitive about racial bias,” he wrote.
you’re doomed Arwind. Terrence is a legitimate NBA player and has contacts with those org / company that are tagged in this tweet. no to racism!! specially from a Filipino who are so sensitive about racial bias.
— Andrew Francisco (@best1nDworld) August 15, 2019
“This should never happen,” @jamesjaboo. “We are not a racist country. We believe in treating people with courtesy and respect as human beings.”
This should never happen. We are not a racist country. We believe in treating people with courtesy and respect as human beings.
— james jabonero (@jamesjaboo) August 15, 2019
Do you think it’s time for Santos to make that apology? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.
This article, Basketball player Terrence Jones urges league to sanction Arwind Santos for racist taunt, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!