Racist LBF president may face jail time

  • 2008-10-29
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with BNS
VILNIUS - Lithuanian Basketball Federation President Vladas Garastas may face a prison sentence after making a series of racist comments about American players in the Lithuanian league.

"Now about the negro playing in Zalgiris, I would expel him immediately.Zygimantas Janavicius is twice as good as he is... Education, there's noeducation there, with only the blackies playing," the Lithuanian-language daily Lietuvos Rytas cited Garastas,76, as saying in reference to a Zalgiris players from the United States.

After the interview, the Human Rights Monitoring Institute asked theProsecutor General's Office to open a probe into the conduct of the LBFpresident.

Garastas circulated a public apology on Tuesday, saying his emotionalstatements were caused by poor health and intemperance. "I acknowledge thatmy comments were inappropriate, insulting and indefensible... I wasimpulsive and emotional to use the strong-worded statements to describe thepersons of a different race," said Garastas.