Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Closing their eyes

Not surprisingly, Spain's Olympic basketball team seems not the least bit repentant about appearing in a photo (above) using their fingers to make the offensive Chinese "slant eyes."

Point guard Jose Calderon told Yahoo! Sports that "we did it because we thought it was going to be something nice, something with no problem. But somebody wants to talk about it. It is too much of a big deal with you guys (the media) and everybody talking about that."

See? You don't even have to be American to know that, when you must answer for bad behavior, it's easier to blame the media.

Anyway, I wasn't surprised by the team's reaction - star Pau Gasol called it "absurd" that the gesture was considered racist - because, as Yahoo! Sports notes, "Spain is no stranger to racial controversy."

In previous incidents, Spain's athletes have been remarkably remorseless in the face of criticism about their racial attitudes. A sample quote from the story: "In Spain, when they make fun about the colour of your skin, it is not necessarily racism."

Sports are generally more engaging when you can root against a villain, you know? I'm glad Spain has figured out its role for these Games.

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