According to reports by Lithuanian basketball writers Simonas Baranauskas and Donatas Urbonas, Gedvydas Vainauskas is out as BC Lietuvos Rytas’ president.
Vainauskas came under fire recently for making some Donald Sterling-like comments when he said that his teams shouldn’t have more than two Black players on them because it can lead to gangs being formed.
The National Basketball Players Association released a statement on the situation on Tuesday.
“The comments made by BC Lietuvos Rytas’ President Gedvydas Vainauskas on Friday are as stupid as they are offensive. Basketball is an institution that unites people around the world and it saddens us to see it tarnished by such racism. Unfortunately, this serves as a reminder of just how far we still must go in ridding the basketball community, and our society as a whole, of such hateful sentiments.
In order to ensure that such bigotry is stamped out, we call upon FIBA to take action so that this kind of hatred and racism is purged from professional basketball. FIBA has been presented with the opportunity to show the world that racial discrimination will not be tolerated within our sport and we truly hope they take full advantage of it.”
Donatas Motiejunas, a Lithuanian native, and member of the New Orleans Pelicans, also tweeted his disapproval of Vainauskas’ comments.
“It could look like it’s not our business but actually it is. People are talking about Lithuania as a racist country. Many friends are writing and asking me about that. I answer that we’re strictly against racism and condemn such words. It’s really hard to understand how people like him can run basketball teams. I feel ashamed for words said by Gedvydas Vainauskas.”
According to Urbonas’ Twitter account, Vainauskas gave away his shareholding with the team, and the team has been taken over by Antanas Guoga, a Lithuanian businessman, liberal politician and philanthropist.