SEOUL, April 16 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's professional basketball league has permanently banned an American player for flicking off a referee at the final game of the championship series, the sport's governing body said Friday.
According to the Korea Basketball League (KBL), Ivan Johnson, who played for the Jeonju KCC Egis last season, raised his middle finger towards a referee after his team lost to Ulsan Mobis Phoebis at the final game of the championship series on Sunday.
After the game, the KBL held a disciplinary committee meeting and decided to permanently expel Johnson while imposing a 5 million won (4,448 U.S. dollars) fine as well.
The 26-year old Johnson had been penalized several times for obscene gestures this year, including in April when he was fined 6 million won for giving the finger to the opposing head coach and in February when he was fined 4 million won for the same action at an opposing player and provoking a fight, the KBL said.
Johnson left South Korea on Monday following the decision, becoming the fifth foreign basketball player to get kicked out of the league, after Terrence Shannon and Calvin Warner received the same penalty for smoking pot last year.