An NBL club has stood down its courtside announcer in the wake of a fiery Melbourne basketball derby between United and the Phoenix.
Tensions between the two teams spilled over during Sunday’s clash after Phoenix star Mitch Creek slammed down a huge dunk over the top of former NBA champion Matthew Dellavedova.
United player Mason Peatling was ejected after he shouldered Creek to the ground, sparking a brawl between opposing players.
But it was another moment during the contest that forced United to reprimand courtside caller Wayne Peterson.
“The club would like to specifically address the comments from the club’s courtside announcer, Wayne Peterson, following Zhou Qi’s free throw attempts,” United said in a statement.
NBL announcer under fire over comment
“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.
“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.”
The NBL has launched its own investigation into the incident and may take it further, depending on the findings.
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