TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In the closing seconds of a tight University Basketball Association (UBA) game on Saturday (Feb. 27), a Taiwanese athlete allegedly used a racial slur against a player of African descent.
With four seconds left on the clock, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) was leading Shih Hsin University (SHU) 65 to 62. When NTNU inbounded the ball, the SHU players frantically tried to foul to prevent them from running out the clock and potentially gain one more possession.
However, the referee ignored the first few fouls, letting precious seconds tick off the clock, until African-Taiwanese player Mohammad Al Bachir Gadiaga (阿巴西) took a harder swipe while a teammate grabbed an NTNU player from behind, sending him to the floor. Out of frustration at Bachir's hard foul, the NTNU player's teammate, Lin Shih Hsuan (林仕軒), then allegedly hurled a racial slur at Bachir.
Bachir can then be heard telling the referee in Mandarin that Lin had called him a 黑鬼 (Heigui, N-word). He then told the official in English twice that "He called me a n*****!"
Bachir (left) telling referee Lin had used racial slur. (YouTube, SSUtv Sports)
The referee responded by calling non-shooting fouls on both teams but still giving NTNU possession of the ball. With only 1.1 seconds on the clock, the next inbound by NTNU was a mere formality, and the game officially came to an end.
However, when the two squads were supposed to shake hands, Bachir and Lin continued to argue with each other. After teammates tried to calm Bachir, the two sides lined up, paused for a tense moment, and shook hands again.
Bachir, who has a Senegalese father and American mother, has lived in Taiwan since the age of 8, is fluent in Mandarin, and received his Taiwanese citizenship last year, reported UDN. Taiwanese netizens posted comments in support of Bachir:
"Please address this incident! If true, those were racially discriminatory remarks."
"The National Taiwan Normal University student who used discriminatory slurs to curse people should be dealt with."
"He should be punished for using the N-word. This is really ridiculous."
NTNU coach Wang Chih-chun (王志群) on Monday (March 1) was cited by Apple Daily as saying that Lin had apologized to Bachir for the insult after the game and that Lin would not be suspended from any games.
Video of full game: