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NBL Announcer Stood Down Over 'Racist' Comments Towards Chinese Player

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NBL Announcer Stood Down Over 'Racist' Comments Towards Chinese Player

Melbourne United has stood down its courtside announcer following an incident which occurred during the fiery NBL clash against South East Melbourne Phoenix.

Phoenix ended up walking away with the victory, downing their local rivals 94-86 in a heated back-and-forth encounter.

Tensions truly boiled over when United player Mason Peatling took exception to Mitch Creek posterising Matthew Dellavedova with a monster dunk.

Peatling was ultimately ejected from the game after shoulder charging Creek to the deck, although it was another incident altogether which seems to have caught peoples' attention.

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When Phoenix star Zhou Qi - who is of Chinese descent - missed two free-throw attempts, every spectator inside the John Cain Arena earned a free Hungry Jack's burger as part of a promotional deal.

On the mic at the time, announcer Wayne Peterson said that Qi "probably doesn't understand" why the home crowd cheered when he missed his shots - remarks which have now landed him in hot water.

"The club would like to specifically address the comments from the club's courtside announcer, Wayne Peterson, following Zhou Qi's free throw attempts," Melbourne United said in a statement.

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"Peterson said Qi 'probably doesn't understand' why the crowd cheered when he missed the shots. The comment referred (to) the prize of a free cheeseburger for consecutive missed free throws.

"Peterson acknowledges that the statement was inappropriate. The club has full confidence that Peterson had no intention of insulting Zhou.

"Peterson has reached out to offer his unreserved apology to Zhou Qi directly. He would also like to apologise to any other party who took offence.

"Melbourne United has mutually agreed with Peterson to have him step away from his duties for the club's next two home games. Peterson will use this time for reflection and further education, and will be more considered with his comments in the future.

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"The club will continue to uphold a strong culture of diversity and inclusiveness and have committed to increase club-wide education about multiculturalism and acceptance."

Zhou Qi used to play for the Houston Rockets in the NBA. Credit: PA
Zhou Qi used to play for the Houston Rockets in the NBA. Credit: PA

It's understood the NBL has fined and suspended Peterson in the past for comments made in the commentary box.

And while Melbourne United have acted quickly, the NBL has confirmed it will be undertaking its own investigation into the matter as well.

Featured Image Credit: ESPN/PA

Topics: Racism, Basketball, NBA, Australia

Max Sherry
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