July 25th, 2012
11:06 AM ET

Greek athlete suspended from Olympic team for offensive Twitter remark

An Olympic athlete from Greece, Voula Papachristou, has been suspended from her country's team after making an offensive comment on Twitter about African immigrants in Greece, a spokeswoman for the Greek Olympic team said Wednesday.

Papachristou apologized on her Facebook page for making an "unfortunate and tasteless joke."

"I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights," she wrote. "My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races. I would like to apologize to all my friends and fellow athletes, who I may have insulted or shamed, the National Team, as well as the people and companies who support my athletic career. Finally, I would like to apologize to my coach and my family."

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Filed under: Greece • Olympics
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Marine Whales

    Blah blah blah

    July 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JK

    More analogous is the hitler olympics in germany. Everyone knew hitler was racist and what he thought of blacks. Yet no one stopped german athletes or black athletes from competing or took their medals. Jesse Owens amazed and even hitler had to recognize his brilliance. The irony is even hitler's germany did less to let their personal beliefs get in the way of pure sport. Owens was allowed to travel with and stay in the same hotels as whites, while at the time blacks in many parts of the United States were denied equal rights. After a New York City ticker-tape parade of Fifth Avenue in his honor, Owens had to ride the freight elevator at the Waldorf-Astoria to reach the reception honoring him. Owens said, "Hitler didn't snub me – it was FDR who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram." On the other hand, Hitler sent Owens a commemorative inscribed cabinet photograph of himself. Jesse Owens was never invited to the White House nor were honors bestowed upon him by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) or his successor Harry S. Truman during their terms.
    Understand what real racism is and how personal opinions should have nothing to do with the purity of the olympics. I stand by my central point.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Stephens

    Many of your comments are saying it's not racist by saying she didn't offend any black's, which leads to the conclusion you have to be ignorant to think only black's live in Africa... It's still Racist because she has offended a Nation.. She deserves her punishment, she was speaking exactly how she feels and told it to the world forgetting she's on a world hosted event... Suck's to be in her position!!! LOL!!!

    July 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Africa is a Continent, not a nation.

      July 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Stephens

    So " Do your research" you happen to have the actual proof of what she said???

    July 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Stephens

    But " Do your research" I do agree with you!!! It's the world's stage and your offending the 2nd largest continent...

    July 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cb

    If Africa is so great, why are Africans immigrating to Greece?

    July 28, 2012 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    Yes, despite the fact that it's not clear how people would be offended by this or that it's clearly a joke, she should obviously be suspended - and destroy the effort that she's spent most of her life trying to attain, for less than 140 characters on a public forum.

    I really don't understand how we humans will survive with such thin skins and such intolerance for others.

    August 1, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
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