Basketball player slams racist abuse at Belgrade game

Published 24.04.2019 00:14

French basketball player Edwin Jackson has complained of his team suffering racist abuse while playing for Buducnost Podgorica against Red Star Belgrade in Serbia.

The 29-year-old, who has been with the Montenegrin team since June 2018, said opposing fans were "spitting in our faces" and that being "call(ed) a monkey during the game will always be unacceptable."

"Truly sad for my sport today," he wrote on Instagram, adding that fans also threw firecrackers and chairs onto the court during the Adriatic League (ABA) game.

The last game of the ABA Finals, which saw Red Star take the title after their victory on Monday, was forced to start late because of the incidents.

During the warm-up, Belgrade fans swarmed the court and forced the visiting team to retreat to their locker room.

In a statement, Buducnost denounced "an attack against our players and management who have experienced horror, lynching and physical violence."

The Montenegrin club did not mention any racist acts.

However, a spectator who requested anonymity confirmed that he heard monkey cries in the Belgrade arena.

A Red Star spokesperson told Agence France-Presse (AFP) the club "would not react to the spins that appear on this subject because they are false."

The director of the ABA league, Kresimir Novosel, said it could not comment on any incidents but that there would be punishment if official reports showed inappropriate behavior.

All of the matches in the final series between Red Star and outgoing champions Buducnost were held in a tense atmosphere.

Last month, England footballers Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi were targeted with racist abuse by Montenegro fans during a Euro 2020 qualifier in Podgorica.

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