Yeng Guiao. I hear his name uttered in conversations among my husband and friends who follow the PBA. The impression I got and from the bits of news that I read about him is that he is a hot-tempered coach with a short fuse who has a rough way with words (and finger gestures). He has always been fined by the association and has also been thrown out of the court.
And now he’s in the news again because Guiao called another player, Fil-American forward, “Mongoloid”. He did this after the game was over. He shouted this insult after his team won and while him and his team were on their way to the dugout. I don’t know why he had to use the term Mongoloid. I want to think that it was because his imagination and vocabulary both failed him. He was probably just fuming and was up to his neck with all the angry words that he wanted to spew out on the court and unfortunately the M word came out on top. Or maybe he really just thought that it would be an awesome insult to lobby at the player. Ayayay.
But, I would like to give Coach Guiao the benefit of the doubt. He may never have met a person with Down syndrome (or a learning disability). He may probably have been fed with old stereotypes of those with learning and developmental disabilities. I will even assume that he’s used the word retarded too. Maybe he is of the opinion that those with intellectual disabilities are beneath him. Maybe he just didn’t know better.
But then again, here’s an article of a friend of his whose kid has autism and who took issue with Guiao’s use of the M word. You can read the article here. And then this news came out that Hodge, the player Guiao offended has an older brother with Down syndrome.
This coach has been fined already by the PBA,who recognized his action as a grave offense. Thank you to the commissioner but I have to add that those with Ds are not suffering from the condition.
The DSAPI has also taken action and released this open letter just a few hours ago. They invited Guiao to join DSAPI activities so he could personally meet individuals who have Down syndrome. It is only through meeting the community and the families that he can appreciate the quiet dignity of these individuals and the joy they bring to everyone they meet. Maybe then he can see how awful the M word is.
I would like to think that after this issue has died down that people will be aware of how hurtful the word “mongoloid” is. I have spoken about the R word campaign and the need to reconsider the use of respectful language. It’s awful how people insist on using the word “retard or mongoloid” and even defending it because of free speech but would never ever use other offensive words. It clearly reflects their character that they choose to pick on those who can’t fight for themselves. However, if this issue made someone who never knew the gravity of using the M or R words, strike out these words from their everyday conversations, then this whole hoopla may have been worth it.
And to Yeng Guiao, if you feel the need to insult (I sincerely think you need sessions with Coach Pia), there are so many words out there you can use. In fact here’s a list of 225 words that you can use (they’re substitutes for the R word but they’ll do just fine sir)
If you can’t think of one, make up one. Don’t be lazy coach. Foul ang Mongoloid. Practice ka araw-araw para di mo yan gamitin, kakayanin mo rin yan.
Good luck Coach Guiao.
Team Noah is cheering you on.