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Iranian monkey of the day

October 31, 2006

ORLANDO (AP) -- The fan who allegedly directed a racial slur at Houston Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo was banned for the season Monday by the NBA and Orlando Magic. Season-ticket holder Hooman Hamzehloui allegedly called Mutombo a "monkey" Thursday at a preseason game between the Rockets and the Magic. Mutombo -- a native of Zaire, which is now called the Democratic Republic of Congo -- yelled back at Hamzehloui and gestured from the court. Hamzehloui sent Mutombo a letter of apology obtained by The Associated Press. In it, he promised $5,000 to the charity of Mutombo's choice and vowed not to attend any games until the 7-foot-2 center gave his blessing. "I am by no means a racist, and if you only knew me better you would never begin to have those thoughts," Hamzehloui wrote. "What I am guilty of is poor judgment in the use of words while doing what I do to many of the visiting team's players, 'heckle them."' Hamzehloui asked to meet with Mutombo to apologize in person >>> Full text

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