Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said that racial discrimination is unacceptable and urged an investigation of an incident on Saturday during a college basketball game in Taipei that sparked a heated exchange between players and prompted the Sports Administration to adopt stricter regulations.
The incident occurred during a University Basketball Association game between Shih Hsin University and National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) when the “N-word” was used against Mohammad Al Bachir Gadiaga (阿巴西), a Senegalese Taiwanese.
Al Bachir of Shih Hsin University complained to the referee that the racial slur had been used by NTNU player Lin Shih-hsuan (林仕軒) about 4 seconds before the end of their quarter-final.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
With NTNU holding a 65-62 lead, the Shih Hsin University players were trying to foul their opponents to prevent them running down the clock.
“He called me a n*****,” Al Bachir told the referee, after a tussle in which he took a swipe at an NTNU player.
The referee, rather than acting on the complaint, awarded both sides a technical foul and NTNU held on to the lead until the final whistle.
Lin after the game apologized to Al Bachir and also to Shih Hsin University. The school later in a statement said that it had accepted the apology.
NTNU coach Wang Chih-chun (王志群) said that the racist incident had occurred amid high emotions on both sides.
The Sports Administration on Monday said that it would adopt international rules for all subsequent games to prevent any similar incidents.
Any flagrant “unsporting” actions by players would be considered a disqualifying foul, in line with International Basketball Federation regulations, it said, adding that schools need to do more to teach students respect for ethnic diversity.
Taiwanese sports teams have become more ethnically diverse, particularly in the P.League+, the nation’s professional basketball league, in which the teams all have at least three non-Asian players.
African-American player Quincy Davis, who renounced his US citizenship in 2013 to become eligible to play for the national team, in 2015 said that he was comfortable living in Taiwan.
“This country wants to embrace me, and so far they’ve taken me to heart, and taken to heart the views of MLK [Martin Luther King Jr] to only be judged by the content of your character, not the color of your skin,” he told the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan’s Taiwan Business TOPICS magazine.
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