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CELTICS CHAIR RETRACTS RACISM CHARGE OVER LEWIS STORY
Published March 13, 1995
Celtics Chair Paul Gaston backed away from a comment made during a Thursday press conference that the Wall Street Journal article on Reggie Lewis' death was racist. Gaston told WEEI's Dale Arnold: "It was not necessarily a racist issue. That part was hotheaded." Gaston also addressed the issue of whether the team would have suffered financially if it was found that drugs caused Lewis' heart ailment. Gaston said the team actually would have made more money, since the team and the insurer would have been freed from fulfilling Lewis' contract (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/11). In other news, Celtics CFO Joseph DiLorenzo said he believes Lewis would have provided blood and urine samples as part of the insurance application, and that they would have been tested for drugs. A spokesperson for the state's chief medical examiner said none of the eight consultants who assisted in Lewis' autopsy raised the possibility of drug use in their official reports, although one of the doctors said he raised concerns verbally (Stephen Kurkjian, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/11). WEEKEND TALK: BOSTON GLOBE'S Bob Ryan: "The tragedy of this is that no one will ever prove that he did or didn't do it" ("Sports Reporters," ESPN, 3/12). In New York, Mitch Lawrence writes, "The Celtics want this story to go away, but that won't happen soon. Not when $15 million is at stake in what is shaping up as an insurance fraud case" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/12). Phil Mushnick notes that NBC's "three-hour, seven-reporter" coverage of the NBA yesterday ignored the Lewis story (N.Y. POST, 3/13). A BOSTON GLOBE editorial states: "Instead of wasting their money on a libel suit, the Celtics would be better advised to help fund an independent investigation" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/11).