Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Michel Morganella expelled from London 2012 Olympics for racist tweet

The London 2012 Olympic games started on 27 July 2012 and less than a week into the games two athletes have been expelled in relation to racism. Like Euro 2012 and other sporting events in Europe, London 2012 is not void of news headlines about racism and racial abuse. Greece expelled Voula Papachristou from the country's Olympic team over xenophobic and somewhat racist comments she posted on Twitter about Africans in Greece. One week later, another Olympian - Michel Morganella - has landed in hot water over a racist tweet.

Switzerland has expelled Michel Morganella from the London 2012 Olympics.

Michel Morganella, defender in Switzerland's men's Olympic football team, was expelled after posting a racist tweet aimed at South Korean people. He posted the offensive tweet after Switzerland lost 2-1 to South Korea on 29 July 2012.

After losing to South Korea, the 23-year-old Swiss logged onto Twitter and referred to South Koreans as a "bunch of mongoloids." He also wrote that South Koreans "can go burn." [Source]

It is worth mentioning that "mongoloid" is a controversial racial term used in slang as an insult.

According to Gian Gilli, head of Switzerland's Olympic team, Michel Morganella "discriminated, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korean football and people."

I agree with the head coach and welcome the decision of Switzerland is expel the footballer from London 2012 Olympics.

Michel Morganella's Twitter post was without a doubt racist and unacceptable. Insulting a group of people on grounds of race is exactly what racism is all about. Racist statements, both online and offline, undermine respect for human rights and human dignity and there should be consequences for perpetrators.

Like many people caught in the act of racial abuse, Michel Morganella has apologized but the harm has already been down. He must now live the rest of his life with a racist mark next to his name.

Athletes linked to racism and racial abuse are having a hard time at the London 2012 Olympic games. Luis Suarez, captain of Uruguay's men's Olympic football team, was booed every time he touched the ball at Wembley during Uruguay's 2-0 loss to Senegal on 29 July 2012. Football fans have not forgotten that in January 2012, Suarez was sanctioned by the FA for racially abusing Patrice Evra.

*Photo source: Iltalehti.

1 comment:

  1. It's sad that so many people still think nothing of spouting racist crap in public. But I'm positively surprised that those athletes actually got punished for it! (And on the other hand, it's sad that justice happening is rare and surprising.) Maybe living with that shameful stigma will teach them something, or at least to those who come after them.



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