TNT import Terrence Jones fired back on social media in response to Arwind Santos' refusal to apologize for his monkey gesture taunt in San Miguel's Game 5 win in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals.
"I don't normally post responses to negative things said about me - but as a father and a black man, this can't be ignored," he said in an Instagram post on Thursday.
Santos was caught making the discriminatory move towards Jones, who was whistled for a foul late in the second quarter. The Beermen forward said he was warned by PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial shortly after that. He also downplayed the gesture and said it was part of the "mind games" to get under Jones' skin, but the KaTropa import insisted it was racist and called on the PBA to act on the incident.
"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," Jones continued. "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. I teach my son to be proud of who he is and to be respectful of all," said Jones.
"This wasn't a case of 'mind games' in an athletic competition - it was racism. Period. And it is unacceptable. Swift, significant action needs to be taken by the PBA to send a STRONG, clear message that racism in any form is UNACCEPTABLE will NOT be tolerated."
Santos escaped suspension, but was fined P200,000 by the league and will have to serve 100 hours of community service for his actions.
Meanwhile, TNT team manager Gabby Cui and team consultant Mark Dickel issued statements on the incident.
"Racism should never have a place in sports and in life. Even via 'jokes or mind games'. It's sad that Arwind, who has so much experience and championships, will have to resort to that. He should know better and look at his own teammates before doing those actions.. It's disrespectful even to them," Cui said in a statement. "The PBA should look into this incident closely. It's not what our league is about."
"I just don't get it. SMB is playing good basketball. Santos is in my opinion a huge negative reflection on their organization. SMB is clearly condoning this stuff. I am really sad for Terrence and others out there that have to continually go thru hate like this. If SMB doesn't condemn his actions they are condoning it," said Dickel.