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Halifax Rainmen owner Andre Levingston speaks after forfeit

05/04/2015 11:00 EDT | Updated 05/04/2016 05:12 EDT
The owner and president of the Halifax Rainmen has apologized after his team forfeited the NBL championship game against the Windsor Express last week, but says the team should have played that night.

Andre Levingston spoke to reporters on Monday.

"I feel cheated," he said. "I'm sure this will set us back some."

On Thursday, the Rainmen forfeited the final following a scuffle between the two teams earlier in the day. 

Players and coaches say Levingston tried to force them to play Game 7 in Windsor, despite safety concerns they had.

Levingston says he arranged for the team to sit down with their opponents to ease their concerns. The Windsor police promised extra security.

"Player safety has always been a priority," he said.

Head coach Josep Clarós refused to play. The players were asked to play without their coach, but they also refused

"The players were misled," said Levingston.

Levingston says Clarós should have led team to championship, not a lifetime of controversy.

The Rainmen were issued a total of $90,000 in fines by the National Basketball League of Canada on Friday. Levingston says the players and coaches don't have a say in if they want to play or not.

He did say he takes responsibility for the Rainmen showing up too early for their scheduled 1 p.m. shootaround in Windsor, a move that prompted the fight between the two teams.

Clarós and assistant coach Pedro Monteiro have been barred for life from coaching in the league.

Eleven players have been indefinitely suspended and fined $5,000 each for conduct detrimental to the league

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