This is a news story that has been creating an uproar in the Asian world. A commentator for the Tokyo Olympics was fired after he made several racist remarks towards one of their competitors, who happens to be from South Korea.
The commentators had already caused stirs with his comments about other athletes and were officially reprimanded by sponsors before they released him on Wednesday evening over this incident involving Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kim Yuna’s skating coach Sonja Henie; which many are calling out as being particularly insulting due to her Norwegian heritage and because she won three consecutive medals at those Games (1928-32).
Journalist Dimosthenis Karmiris appeared on Greek channel ERT to discuss the third-round table tennis tie yesterday, between Jeoung Youngsik and Panagiotis Gionis.
When asked about the abilities of South Korean players in the sport, he offered a shocking reply live on air.
‘The Koreans don’t play table tennis,’ he responded.
‘Their eyes are narrow so I can’t understand how they can see the ball moving back and forth.’
His shocking response led to online outrage on social media, with many viewers flocking to Twitter
to discuss the comments.
‘It’s 2021 and this is how a presenter on Greek state broadcaster comments on Asian table tennis players,’ an unimpressed fan said while sharing a video of the scene.
‘Absolutely ridiculous, and then we wonder where the systemic racism comes from,’ one replied.
In a move that has outraged many, the state-run broadcaster ERT finally showed up to cover qualifying games of two Greek athletes and it wasn’t without controversy. A Twitter user even added this comment about Korean competitors #ERTTokyo2020: ‘When they start winning at least one medal I’ll apologize for my remarks and congratulate them.#TokyoOlympics’
Continuing with their poor track record in covering international sports events, following outrage over not showing any qualification rounds from Greece’s own Olympic hopefuls effectively overshadowing what is an important part of preparation for any athlete going into these competitions the officials announced on Tuesday he had been removed from coverage going forward.