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Vagabond
07-25-2012, 05:37 PM
London 2012: Greece expel triple jumper over racist Twitter remark (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jul/25/london-2012-greece-racist-twitter)


The Greece Olympic team have expelled their triple jumper Voula Papachristou after she made a racist remark on Twitter, days before she was due to compete at London 2012.

Papachristou, 23, who was part of the 105-strong Greek team in London, had commented on the widely reported appearance of Nile-virus-carrying mosquitoes in Athens by tweeting: "With so many Africans in Greece, at least the mosquitoes of West Nile will eat homemade food."

:eek: :rolleyes: :scream:


She subsequently deleted the message....

Papachristou said in a statement: "I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.

"My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races....

Gee,Voula, if that was your dream, you respect Olympic values, and you don't believe in discrimination, why did you make that tweet?

:watch:

Good riddance!

altai_rose
07-25-2012, 05:48 PM
Can someone please explain to me exactly how the comment is racist? I've been reading it over and over again, but I'm not sure I see it... Tasteless joke to post on twitter--yes, Racism--I don't see it.

AragornElessar
07-26-2012, 12:35 AM
CBC Sports ~ Greece expels Olympic athlete over racist tweets (http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/trackandfield/story/2012/07/25/sp-olympics-greece-athlete-expelled-social-media.html)

It appears that disgusting "joke" of hers is just the tip of the iceberg here. Lots more information in that link.

VIETgrlTerifa
07-26-2012, 12:53 AM
Can someone please explain to me exactly how the comment is racist? I've been reading it over and over again, but I'm not sure I see it... Tasteless joke to post on twitter--yes, Racism--I don't see it.

The second link in this thread certainly gives the context to the joke. Her commentary about "having so many Africans in Greece" was certainly not a complimentary one.

overedge
07-26-2012, 01:14 AM
I think that statement she issued should be reworded to start, "My lawyers told me to say:..."

Because it sure doesn't sound like the same style of writing as that Tweet :lol:

Ziggy
07-26-2012, 01:41 AM
Can someone please explain to me exactly how the comment is racist? I've been reading it over and over again, but I'm not sure I see it... Tasteless joke to post on twitter--yes, Racism--I don't see it.

Mentioning an entire racial/ethnic group in a negative, sweeping statement = racism.

Referring to an entire racial/ethnic group as 'food for mosquitoes' = racism.

etc.

IceAlisa
07-26-2012, 02:04 AM
She was referring to a group that inhabits a continent, not a race or an ethnic group. Africans belong to many different races, FYI, Ziggy.

However, the comment was tasteless.

Coco
07-26-2012, 02:09 AM
Mentioning an entire racial/ethnic group in a negative, sweeping statement = racism.

Referring to an entire racial/ethnic group as 'food for mosquitoes' = racism.

etc.


Except that's not really what she did. She was referencing the well known fact that mosquitoes "eat" people's blood.

I'm very uncomfortable with limitations on free speech, no matter how offensive. And letting someone's political leanings factor into a decision to dismiss them from the Games? THAT is offensive to me.

Racist is saying something like all [insert racial group here] are stupid or slutty or whatever.

IceAlisa
07-26-2012, 02:17 AM
The San Francisco Chronicle opines on the matter (http://blog.sfgate.com/olympics/2012/07/25/greek-athlete-expelled-from-olympics-for-racist-tweet/)

altai_rose
07-26-2012, 02:23 AM
I've referred to myself and others as "food for mosquitoes" on many occasions, but I can see why some people may find the statement offensive.

It does seem that the dismissal was somewhat politically motivated. In any case, it's probably safest for these athletes (and others) not to make any comments at all that involve race or ethnicity as even comments that are neutral or positive may be misunderstood and considered racist.

Ziggy
07-26-2012, 02:36 AM
She was referring to a group that inhabits a continent, not a race or an ethnic group. Africans belong to many different races, FYI, Ziggy.

They do? Incredible.

Next you will be telling me they speak different languages as well.

Whilst technically, you are of course right, I believe in pan-Africanism so nyer. :P

And while I know all of that, I somehow doubt that the moron who made this tweet does. :P


Except that's not really what she did. She was referencing the well known fact that mosquitoes "eat" people's blood.

Racist is saying something like all [insert racial group here] are stupid or slutty or whatever.

But she wasn't talking about 'people', she was talking about a particular group of people as defined by the continent of their origin, whilst highlighting their "otherness" and taking delight in the fact they would be eaten by mosquitoes (who are also "the other" so hey what a great match! :rolleyes:).

Making reference to people's race in a sweeping way, when it's irrelevant (because we're all human beings and it doesn't matter whether somebody is white or black so why are you highlighting it?) is what is racist. As is presenting racial, ethnic and other groups if they were homogeneous and totally different (read: worse) from you.

So no, not just saying that Africans are stupid.

Reminds of people saying 'I'm not racist but why is it always black people that...' :rolleyes:


I'm very uncomfortable with limitations on free speech, no matter how offensive. And letting someone's political leanings factor into a decision to dismiss them from the Games? THAT is offensive to me.

I am very uncomfortable by 'free speech' used as an excuse for hate speech which perpetuates discrimination.

And it's not about 'political leanings'. She's is representing her country and and being a racist idiot does not do that job very well, don't you think? :P

Theatregirl1122
07-26-2012, 03:01 AM
Especially since free speech is a freedom from prosecution by the government (and I don't know where free speech stands in Greece). It usually does not protect you from criticism, losing your job, losing privileges, etc. etc. etc.

And I'm with Ziggy on this one. Except he's doing a much better job explaining himself since I'm still trying to figure out how someone could see this as not racist.

IceAlisa
07-26-2012, 03:02 AM
That's OK, Ziggy. Good thing you are not an American. You are not in any danger from free speech.

I recall Ahmadinejad trying to rile the West by saying something very offensive such as Anne Frank slept with Hitler (hoping there would be outrage, calls for ban, etc). He was disappointed. While I find this statement stupid and offensive, I contend that a person has the right to express it.

Now the question is, does that woman deserve to be booted off the team? Probably. Does she have a right to say these things? Absolutely.

Theatregirl1122
07-26-2012, 03:03 AM
Now the question is, does that woman deserve to be booted off the team? Probably. Does she have a right to say these things? Absolutely.

Luckily no one has stopped her from saying these things.

IceAlisa
07-26-2012, 03:05 AM
Luckily no one has stopped her from saying these things.

You want to bet that if she remains Olympic eligible, she will stop?