Spanish Olympic Basketball Team in racism controversy

Mikey 20 comments
Spanish Olympic Basketball Team in racism controversy

Oh my, what to make of this one? The Spanish Olympic Basketball Team is on some hot water after posing for a pre-game photo in which the entire team made slant-eye gestures.

The photo occupied a full page in the country's best selling newspaper.

Apparently the lads and the photographer didn't think ahead on this one and didn't consider how this might be interpreted by the Chinese.

What do you reckon?


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Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 11:13 AM

It's unfair the Chinese are made fun of for the shape of their eyes. They should be made fun of for their religion like everyone else :-P

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Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 11:19 AM response to this comment by Anders. Ed Zackary!

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Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 11:22 AM

Just another reminder that lots of people are still jerks. Olympics or not.

Like the Iranian swimmer who refused to compete because there was an Israeli in the same pool.

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Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 11:25 AM

I dont really see the problem with the photo

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Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 11:27 AM response to this comment by Rodney. Man! What an idiot!

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Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 11:28 AM

I hope the Chinese kick their arses at the game

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Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 11:52 AM

Possibly one of a couple answers regarding this type of behavior:

Supports the heretofore unknown theory that athletic activities by Spanish males unleashes the latent "ignorant" gene. Apparently the same for the Iranian swimmer...

New and unusual side effect from the athletes' drugs of choice.

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Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 02:14 PM

If the lads and photographer didn't think ahead about this then what about all the newspapers, and internet sites who are displaying the image over and over again? Are they just as guilty as far as racism goes????????

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Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 04:36 PM

may be the photographer said chinese instead of saying cheese!!!!

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Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 05:14 PM response to this comment by Jonno. you arent talking of that horrible disease where your face look ed zackery like your arse?

at the end of the day.. that photo made me laugh heartily...

im so bad

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Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 05:22 PM

just have a laugh at it. i am sure the chinese could poke fun at us...

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Kim OJ

Tuesday 12th August 2008 | 10:42 PM

Perhaps they were just trying to say: "Ich bin ein Chinese"?

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Wednesday 13th August 2008 | 05:46 AM

spain was also racist towards the black british soccer players.. for i think the euro cup.

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Saturday 16th August 2008 | 03:50 AM

I hope I put this link in correctly... At any rate, the article shows Spanish tennis team doing the slant-eyed gesture - so the Spanish Olympic basketball players were not the first from Spain to make this gesture in a photo for the public.

It also mentions the double standard with regards to how this type of behavior would be viewed if Americans took this kind of photo "op"... To which I say grrrr.... I'm getting tired of American's getting slammed for the least little thing while anyone else in the world can do as they please and receive little to no flack for it! Oddly, aside from reading this today and Mikey's editorial here, I have not even heard a "racist" type of comment about the Chinese. Only the Spanish??? Wondering about that...

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Tuesday 19th August 2008 | 07:10 PM

There's nothing racist in the picture. In some cases racism is in the eye of the observer...

The team is not making fun of the Chinese, here in Spain, it's seen as way of tenderly saying "we're in China". Slant-eyes are cute, and characteristic of China...

The only way I can understand this to be racist is if you consider slant-eyes as something bad, inferior, or disgraceful, and the slant-eyed gesture a "mock" of it. It is not the case, that's why I think racism is in the eyes of those who see it.

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Tuesday 19th August 2008 | 07:15 PM

By the way, if you think that is racist, you should head over to Spain in new year, on the 5th of January when the "reyes" (the three wise men from the Nativity in the New Testament) hand out gifts to children. One of them is a black wise man, and the people acting as that wise man normally paint the face black with shoe polish. Kids love him the most, and in no way is that racist.

Yeah, recently there are more blacks in Spain so you'll see many more blacks playing that role, but in towns or neighborhoods where they don't find a black guy that offers to do so, they simply paint a white person black - with shoe polish. It would sound racist to some foreigners, but I think it's because they're already predisposed to think racially?

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Tad Nathaniel

Saturday 23rd August 2008 | 11:59 AM

Time-slip, if you will, back to the 1950-1960’s. The boss (of course, male) walks into the office, and pats his female secretary’s rear end. He says, ”I like them round and plump.” Now, someone from the 21st century tells this boss that he has done and said an awful thing, and he is being downright sexist.
His response: “I was giving my secretary a friendly greeting. It was just harmless fun. It is absurd for anyone to make a big thing of it. How could women possibly take offense at this? I’ll have you know that I am friends with many women!”
Dear stupid Spaniards, don’t you think it’s about time you learned that it is offensive when the people to whom you direct your words and actions, think it’s offensive? The ones dishing it out (that’s YOU) have NO say in whether people should be offended or not.
Join us. We have already moved into the 21st century. Hope you can catch up.

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Baggio Calderoza

Saturday 23rd August 2008 | 12:00 PM

Dear Slant-brained Spanish Team,
How many Spaniards does it take to change a light bulb?
A. 5
C. What’s a light bulb?

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Sland-eyed Asian

Saturday 23rd August 2008 | 12:01 PM

You’ve heard of the fearsome team from Spain:
They persevered for Gold in vain.
Poised with confidence, unrestrained,
Their eyes betrayed the heart they feign.

“Friendly and harmless, simple and plain.
You read into it; it’s all in your brain.”
Such words of comfort they hope have regained
The misplaced trust ever more to attain.

Good humor they claimed they wish to retain,
But it all came under fire and rain.
In centuries passed, their glory has waned,
In clueless oblivion they choose to remain.

Shell-struck people of Asian terrain
Witness again the white man’s refrain.
Branded “sub-human”, they once were detained
In the confines of their master’s domain.

So goes the story of the team from Spain:
They persevere for support in vain.
Poised with resolve, but now restrained,
Their shame foreshadows all that they feign.

I am your slant-eye, but this I maintain:
My blood is as red as that in your vein.
My insides are torn, my emotions drained,
To hear you proclaim there’s no one in pain.

…by Slant-eyed Asian…

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Wednesday 22nd April 2009 | 12:11 AM

Slant eyes are not bad, and the gesture of slanting the eyes isnt baid either. In Spain we don't use this gesture for mocking chinese. Maybe the background involving the gesture in other countries with more asian population is negative but not here.
If you thing the acts of other cultures from your perspective then your conclussions are wrong.
And if you think that other cultures have to do the things the same way as you, because if not you will be offended, then you have a problem.

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