A Greek triple-jumper and a Swiss soccer player were both banned for separate offensive comments, and a Lithuanian fan was arrested because of his aggravated behavior during a basketball game. Even the London Olympics is not immune to racism. Whenever nations all over the world compete, racial discrimination rears its ugly head.
For some reason, when it is displayed in the context of sports, it is seen as more acceptable. Switzerland’s Michel Morganella, who was sore about losing to South Korean soccer team was expelled from the games for calling them a “bunch of mongoloids” that “can go burn. It was under the terms of the International Olympic Committees’ code of conduct that athletes must show mutual respect, and tweeting those insensitive words clearly showed disrespect for the basic Olympian value.
Another was Greece’s Voula Papachristou who never even made it to the games because of her twitter post that read, “So many Africans in Greece at least West Nile mosquitoes will eat homemade food. ” She apologized for the “unfortunate and tasteless joke. Her coach George Pomaski complained that the punishment had been too harsh, but the triple jumper’s tweet was indeed more abrasive than the penalty itself. The last one was the arrest of a man who was making Nazi gestures and monkey chants during the game between Lithuania and Nigeria at the basketball arena. His lawyer said on a trial that he believed his gestures and behaviors were acceptable at sports matches, and later on was fined ?2,500 for the incident. Sports, when mixed with the hyper-passionate supports of people’s favorite teams or national squads, turns into a volatile mix of ugliness.
The unsportsmanlike conduct and ugly behavior by some players and fans have overshadowed the positive nature of the games. Sports are the greatest equalizer in this world. It is where the color of our skin, culture, and beliefs does not matter, and all that counts is the ability and the color of jersey. Racism is still an issue even in the grandest event in the world. Discriminatory acts should be strongly and rapidly condemned in all domains, especially in sports.