Some money from brawl fines will stay in Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers are donating $2.4 million to 11 local charities, money that comes mostly from fines levied against five players for their roles in the November brawl with Detroit Pistons fans.
The Pacers asked the NBA for permission to give the money to charities in Indianapolis, and team chief executive Donnie Walsh said the request was granted. Normally, the fines are sent to the NBA, which donates the money to charity. In this case, the NBA allowed a percentage to come back to the Pacers to give to local charities.
Walsh called the mayhem in Auburn Hills, Mich., "a low point for the owners, this franchise and the players."
"We came out of it determined to make something positive happen for this team and this community," Walsh said Thursday. "We think this does that."
The NBA fined Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O'Neal, Anthony Johnson and Reggie Miller for their roles in the Nov. 19 fighting. All five attended a news conference to announce the donations, but none took questions.
Artest, whom NBA commissioner David Stern suspended for the season after the brawl, smiled as he greeted representatives of the agencies and shook hands with some children. The other four players also were suspended.
The Pacers also donated an unspecified sum to charity. Of the team's donation, $1 million will go to the United Way of Central Indiana. The other charities include Riley Hospital for Children, St. Vincent Children's Hospital, Special Olympics Indiana, Indiana Black Expo and the Indianapolis Public Schools.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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