July 26, 2012

It's All Greek To Me

So one of the Greek athletes, a triple jumper by the name of Voula Papachristou, was kicked of her country's olympic team for a tweet that many found offensive.
Her offending message – which was referring to reports of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus in her home country – read: ‘With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!’
Here's the thing--it's not really funny, and it does deal with racial issues (I guess, anyway. She doesn't really specify Black Africans, and I don't know the racial makeup of Greece, but maybe there's some other racial thing here that I'm not getting. Anybody know?), but I'm not sure it rises to the level of sending her home.

I'm a believer in free speech, and while what she said was stupid, if countries start sending home Olympians for stupid, assholish behavior, it's going to be a really short competition.

One last point--there won't be a moment of silence to mark the murder of the '72 Israeli athletes on this anniversary. This, in my view, is a much more offensive act that a young athlete's mindless tweet.


  1. Not not funny in a belly lol funny but it is not offensive either. What is offensive and criminal is the persecution of the athlete. Last I check there are other people in Africa then the Black.

  2. Agreed. I often wonder in situations such as this one, where people want to argue that "of course 'Africans' means 'Black'" despite any evidence in the statement itself, who the real racist is.

    Did she mean it in a racist way? I don't know what was in her mind as she wrote it. It probably was meant that way. There have been reports that she belonged to anti-immigration Greek political party. But the point still remains--we shouldn't employ the thought police for everything people say, and she shouldn't have been sent home.