Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Evans breaks silence on Wolves racism row

Chuck Evans has confirmed that he resigned as coach of Worcester Wolves after making comments to members of his team that were deemed racist.

The American quit the club last week when a group of his players threatened to strike rather than work under him following an incident that, it was claimed, took place in a team meeting.

Multiple sources told Britball that the tirade was directed primarily against the Wolves trio of Lithuanians – Vidmantas Uzkuraitis, Evaldas Zabas and Nerijus Karlikanova - who are among the five whose contracts have now been terminated. Evans, whose wife is white, has now returned to the USA but insists his words were mis-interpreted.

“If you look at the make-up of our team, it is very European in terms of colour,” he told the Worcester News. “I am colour blind. I recruit guys who can play basketball. On one occasion I used words that imply I am a racist, which is not true. I was wrong for my comments and regret the incident ever happened.”

The sacked quintet are understood to be considering legal action against the Wolves. But their actions have been backed by reserve guard, Roy Owen - one of the few players who remain under contract following the internal combustion.

“I came to Worcester to play basketball so I thought the best thing was to stay out of it,” he said. “I didn’t have any expectations of anything. A lot of guys decided to stick together as a team and to stick to doing what they thought was right. It’s not for anyone to agree or disagree with that. But I wish the guys were still here playing with us.”

Worcester chairman, Roger Clarke, has pledged to stack the roster with fresh talent – and a new coach – within “2-3 weeks”. And Owen insists the off-court issues need to be left behind.

“It’s been a strange situation,” he added.” I didn’t expect this to happen. Hopefully we can move forward now and build another team."


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