Region: Racist hints of Nitra assault
Police charge two men in violent attack on basketball player
Posted: March 6, 2013
By Beata Balogová
From the Slovak Spectator
Jean Rony Cadot, an American basketball player of Bahamian origin who currently plays for a Slovak club, was seriously assaulted in front of a nightclub in Nitra Feb. 14, reportedly by a group of six people. He had to undergo eye surgery as a result of the attack. Slovak basketball officials as well as an anti-racism group have condemned the incident, while Slovak police have charged two men and are investigating the motive of the attack.
Cadot, 25, a player for the Edymax SPU club in Nitra, was pursued by his attackers en route to the hospital and subjected to a stream of racist abuse, local media reported. Cadot spoke out more than a week after the incident, saying the attack was racially motivated.
Cadot said the word "nigger" was used, while another basketball player who witnessed the incident, which took place in front of a nightclub in Nitra, confirmed the events had occurred as described by the victim. Nitra Regional Police spokeswoman Renáta Čuháková confirmed Feb. 27 that two suspects had been charged with causing bodily harm and rowdiness.
Čuháková explained racial hatred was one of several possible motives defined by the law.
The men charged by police, 21-year-olds Mário U. and Adam D. from Nitra, do not have any criminal record.
A verbal altercation inside the nightclub preceded the attack, according to eyewitnesses. Bouncers ejected the quarreling groups into the street.
Cadot, who was among the first to leave the club, was reportedly attacked by six people. Video cameras located in the pub did not record the incident; owner Rastislav Solár stated the fight started "in the cameras' blind spot."
The deputy director of the teaching hospital in Nitra confirmed two of the alleged attackers followed the basketball player to the hallway of the hospital's emergency room. Stanislav Michalík, president of the basketball club, said Feb. 22 it was regrettable such an attack could take place in the 21st century, and he rejected any suggestion the fight may have been provoked by the basketball players.
Irena Bihariová from the NGO People Against Racism (ĽPR) suggested racist incidents are "happening … often, without the wider public learning about them."
"The victims avoid the attackers in the future as they do not want to become a target of aggression again if they take legal steps or publicly condemn the act," she added.
Last year, ĽPR recorded three similarly motivated incidents. All of them happened in Bratislava, and the offenders were identified as right-wing extremists associated with groups of football supporters, Bihariová said.
Alexander Farkašovský, the head of the supervisory board of the Slovak Basketball Association, condemned the attack on Cadot, calling it a "shameful and barbaric" act. Farkašovský dealt with the fallout from a racist attack involving another foreign basketball player in Slovakia in 2008, when two men attacked Denise Wilson, an African-American playing for Cassovia Košice.
Beata Balogová can be reached at email@example.com