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Richardson calls fan a 'faggot'

(This story was published in 2007).

Micheal Ray Richardson, coach of the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Assn. and a former NBA player, has been suspended for comments that insulted Jews and gays.

"Shut the **** up, you faggot," Richardson shouted to a heckler Tuesday during a game, the Albany Times Union reported. He also yelled at another fan to "shut the **** up." As for what he said about Jews, you have to read the account in the Times Union to get the true flavor:

"I've got big-time lawyers," Richardson said when discussing his contract negotiations. "I've got big-time Jew lawyers."

When told, however, that such an offhand remark might offend people because it plays to the stereotype that Jews are crafty and shrewd, Richardson replied: "Are you kidding me? They are. They've got the best security system in the world. Have you ever been to an airport in Tel Aviv? They're real crafty. Listen, they are hated all over the world, so they've got to be crafty."

Why are they hated? he was asked.

"They know that in this country the Jews are running it if you really think about it," Richardson said. "I mean, which is not a bad thing, you know what I mean?"

"How are they running it?" he was asked.

"They got a lot of power in this world, you know what I mean?" he said. "Which I think is great. I don't think there's nothing wrong with it. If you look in most professional sports, they're run by Jewish people. If you look at a lot of most successful corporations and stuff, more businesses, they're run by Jewish. It's not a knock, but they are some crafty people."

After his remarks became public, Richardson was suspended for the rest of the CBA championship series, and the league said it will conduct an investigation. "We will not tolerate and the league will not tolerate bigots to perform in our league," Patroons owner Ben Fernandez said.

When Patroons general manager Jim Coyne heard about the comments, they were not enough to make him want to talk to Richardson about his conduct, Times Union columnist Brian Ettkin reported. "He's an adult and he should know better," Coyne told Ettkin. "He knows if he's acting appropriately or inappropriately." Apparently, the CBA saw things differently.

Richardson was surprised by the suspension and issued a non-apology apology. "It's terrible and I don't think it's fair," Richardson said. "But I want to make an apology if I offended anyone because that's not me."

Richardson had been an NBA star before being suspended in 1986 for drug use. He then played in Europe for 14 years before coming back to the U.S. and the CBA.

Richardson is the second CBA official and former NBA player to be suspended for comments in a month that dealt with gays. Tim Hardaway, the former Miami Heat star, was relieved of his duties for the expansion Miami franchise after saying, "I hate gay people." Hardaway was reacting to the public coming out of former player John Amaechi.