THE Australian Basketballers’ Association (ABA) and Basketball Australia have rejected claims of racism made by a Filipino photographer.
The allegation was made by photojournalist, Winston Baltasar, who told the ABC that he heard the word ‘monkey’ used by Australian players before the all-in brawl that saw 13 players ejected.
Not initially reached for comment at the time of the ABC story’s publishing — Sunday morning — the ABA and Basketball Australia were quick to respond.
“The allegations made by Mr Baltasar are unsubstantiated and highly defamatory and we are reviewing our legal avenues to address them,” a statement read.
“The Boomers pride themselves on their inclusive and diverse composition, just like the country they represent and the comments made by Mr Baltasar and republished by the ABC have caused immense distress to our players.”
Multiple Australian Boomers players read the story, with one source telling foxsports.com.au that they were ‘fuming’ as a result of its contents.
The ABA is in talks with the ABC, regarding concerns about the publication of the story, which was written by Travey Holmes.
“At no stage was Basketball Australia or the ABA contacted for comment before the allegations were published, in a clear breach of the ABC’s own editorial standards.” Basketball Australia Chief Executive, Anthony Moore, said.
“Australian basketball prides itself on being a diverse sport that embraces all sections of the community. We take these allegations against our players extremely seriously and are deeply disappointed the ABC chose to publish them.”
Baltasar claimed he was sure he heard the word ‘monkey’ used by Australian players, but wasn’t able to recollect who made the comments.