Posted tagged ‘Racist Photo’

Another Spanish Olympic Team Makes Racist Gestures in Photo

August 15, 2008

After a great summer of winning, Spanish athletic teams seem to have gotten themselves in quite a mess over the past week. A picture recently discovered on the website of the Spanish Tennis Federation shows the nation’s Federation Cup team making an eye-slant gesture, according to a report in London’s Telegraph.

Spanish Tennis Federation

Credit: Spanish Tennis Federation

From the article:

A second group of Spanish Olympic athletes has been photographed making “slit-eyed” gestures, threatening to overshadow the Beijing Games with a row over racial stereotyping. The latest photo to emerge shows Spanish women tennis players pulling the pose, apparently in anticipation of their Federation Cup match against China in April.

The latest image appears to show players in Spain’s Federation Cup team doing the “slit-eyed” gesture along with members of their support staff. There is no suggestion that they intended to cause offense.

It was apparently taken after the team defeated Italy in the quarter-finals of the competition – the leading team contest for women tennis players – in Febraury. Wine glasses are visible on the table in front of the party.

The photo is still visible on the official website of the Spanish Tennis Federation. It’s hard to imagine what must be going through the minds of these players right now and why they did this in the first place. I know that some are offended by this, and some aren’t. But the worst part of all is that these two photos will be what is remembered about the Spanish athletes from this Olympic Games.

US Basketball “Redeem Team” Defeats Greece 92-69

August 14, 2008

The “Redeem Team” is certainly redeeming the face of American basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics. The American players were excited to find out that Greece was in their pool and they backed up their talk with a 92-69 victory.

From the New York Times:

Kobe Bryant and Chris Bosh each scored 18 points to lead the United States, with Dwyane Wade adding 17 points, 6 steals and 5 assists. The United States made Greece look like just another overmatched opponent, hammering transition dunks seemingly at will and toying with them to the point where Jason Kidd attempted to throw an alley-oop off the backboard mid-way through the third quarter.

The performance rekindled memories of some of the dominant American Olympic teams of yesteryear. While the Greeks and other countries caught up to the United States in the past decade through better Olympic systems and more cohesive teams, this victory reminded the world that superior talent and athleticism can disrupt the best organizations.

Since the Athens games, the American basketball team has gone 20-1. The lone loss came to Greece in the semifinals of the 2006 world championship and forced the United States to settle for a bronze in that tournament.

There will still be a few tough challenges left for the Americans but they appear, at this moment, to be well on their way to winning gold in Beijing. Now let’s just hope they don’t get caught making any obscene team photos.

Spanish Olympic Basketball Team Poses for Offensive Photo

August 13, 2008

How much controversy can you have in one Olympic games? Now it is the Spanish Olympic basketball team who has come under fire for an offensive team photo.

Offensive Photo in Question

Offensive Photo in Question

From The Telegraph:

Spanish sports poor reputation for insensitivity towards racial issues has been further harmed by an advertisement in which the country’s Beijing Olympic basketball teams make slit-eyed gestures.

The pictures, used in a promotion for a courier company that sponsors the Spanish Basketball Federation, took up a full page of the popular sports daily Marca. Both the men’s and women’s teams posed in separate images, striking the pose in a campaign aimed at supporting the Spanish basketball efforts in China.

Although no offense was intended by either the Spanish team, the advertisement is unlikely to be viewed kindly by the host nation or at a time when the Spanish Olympic committee is pursuing a bid to host the Games in 2016.

I believe that if the Spanish Basketball team had apologized immediately, this story would have probably gone away. But now, I’m guessing we’ve only seen the beginning of this controversy. Whoever came up with this idea should probably be looking for a new job.