Greek Triple Jumper Booted From Olympic Team For Racist Tweet

Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was banished from the Olympic Games on Wednesday after making racist comments and expressing right-wing sentiments on Twitter. Papachristou was scheduled to fly to London next week from her training base in Athens when the Hellenic Olympic Committee – Greek’s Olympic federation – made the decision to expel her from the team.

Papachristou, 23, made a racist and tasteless comment on her Twitter account, @papaxristoutj, that highlighted the number of African immigrants in Greece: “With so many Africans in Greece … at least the West Nile mosquitos will eat homemade food!!!,” Papachristou wrote. She also reposted a comment from controversial Greek politician Ilias Kasidiaris, who has strongly criticized his government’s “soft” immigration policy.

The West Nile virus was first discovered in Uganda, but cases have recently been found during the European summer. Papachristou’s tweet was met with a flood of angry responses, but she didn’t respond until Wednesday, when it became clear she might lose her spot in the Olympics.


“I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account,” she said. “I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.”

By then, it was too late. Greek Olympic chiefs consulted with senior members of the Greek parliament, including aides to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, before making their decision. Part of the reason for the expulsion was to punish Papachristou for her actions, but the decision was also made in hopes of avoiding a backlash from anti-racism protestors at the Games. The financial crisis gripping Greece – where strict austerity measures have affected the lives of millions – has forced the country to rely heavily on corporate sponsorship to fund its Olympic program. Officials feared that contributors may rethink their commitment if Papachristou remained on the team.

What is your reaction regarding Voula Papachristou’s “racist” tweet? Was the committee’s decision to expel her from the Olympic team just right?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Greek Reporter

L.A. Riots Victim Rodney King Found Dead At 47

Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 was caught on camera and sparked riots after the acquittal of the officers involved, was found dead in his swimming pool Sunday, authorities and his fiancee said. He was 47.

Police in Rialto, California, received a 911 call from King’s fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, about 5:25 a.m., said Capt. Randy De Anda. Responding officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, police said. There were no preliminary signs of foul play, De Anda said, and no obvious injuries on King’s body. Police are conducting a drowning investigation, he said, and King’s body would be autopsied.


King’s beating after a high-speed car chase and its aftermath forever changed Los Angeles, its police department and the dialogue on race in America. King was 25 and on parole after a robbery conviction in March 1991. In an interview in 2011, he recalled he had been drinking and was headed home from a friend’s house when he saw a police car following him and panicked, thinking he would be sent back to prison. So he attempted to flee. An amateur cameraman caught the scene as four white police officers struck King more than 50 times with their wooden batons and used a stun gun on him. King was beaten nearly to death. Three surgeons operated on him for five hours.

Four LAPD officers — Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon — were indicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and excessive use of force by a police officer. Koon and Powell were found guilty and sentenced to 30 months in prison. Briseno and Wind were acquitted. The other jurors came around, and King was awarded $3.8 million in damages.

King said earlier this year he has forgiven the officers who beat him: “Yes, I’ve forgiven them, because I’ve been forgiven many times,” he said. “…This country is my house, it’s the only home I know, so I have to be able to forgive — for the future, for the younger generation coming behind me, so … they can understand it…”

What do you think caused Rodney King’s death? Are you capable of the same degree of forgiveness that King gave to the officers?

Source: CNN

Image: Examiner