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Spanish Teams Pose With "Slit" Chinese Eyes

Racist or Funny? Spanish Teams Pose With "Slit" Chinese Eyes

While making a slit-eyed gesture and standing near a Chinese dragon, members of Spain's Olympic basketball teams posed for an advertisement, apparently unaware of offensive overtones. Two large photos, one of each team's members pulling back the skin by their eyes, filled an entire page in Spain's most popular newspaper.

A sponsor of the Spanish Basketball Federation published the questionable good-luck message, but apparently the sport's governing body saw no reason to object either, as its seal also appears on the ad.

Racism and sports have collided before in Spain. Perhaps the International Olympic Committee will consider Spain's cultural insensitivity when assessing Madrid's bid for the 2016 or 2020 Olympics.

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7bits 7bits 8 years
I'd coldcock anyone I see doing this - no questions asked.
Kilo199 Kilo199 8 years
I'm proud to be Asian!..It's time for us to stand up and fight instead of being seen as meek and week and nice..I for one don't want our grandchildren to have to deal with this gesture in the future or comments like "Go home!. I'd be proud if my son defended him self by punching some kid who used his finger and pulled his or her eyes back. Take your children to martial arts classes!
Kilo199 Kilo199 8 years
It’s racist too me..I dare anyone from Spain or the Spanish team to walk in to any china town or asian town in America and pull that move while saying ching chong ching…Hell, do it in front of the guys with the tatoos and hard stares..If it isn’t racist I dare any non Asian person to walk into an Asian Pool hall or bar and do it in front of some Asian gangsters. I can't wait until Pau Gasol walks into China Town, Korea town or Little Tokyo. I hope that Shaq or Pau check their Chinese take out or Sushi next time as the employees might think it’s funny to add “special ingredents” like spit..oh but don’t be offended or grossed out. If all you people think it's just funny or just a joke do it to your waiter or waitress the next time you're in an Asian Restaurant or just do it in front of the next asian group you see in the United States. White and Hispanic kids use to do the slanted eye move alot in the 80's but by the 90's while saying "ching chong ching" they stopped doing it in public in California..why? Asian guys stepped up and started fighting, stabbing and shooting to make sure that there would be hell to pay.
Val-Ezra Val-Ezra 8 years
Also i lived in Madrid for five years and i noticed te strong racism they had towards Blacks and other Latin nations. Yes i do believe they are a nation that feels they are better then any other race. Its one thing to believe your race is better than another but its racist to put another race down or mock them.
Val-Ezra Val-Ezra 8 years
Spanish sports is no stranger to racial controversy. Luis Aragones, the head coach of Spain’s men’s soccer team, was overheard telling his player Jose Antonio Reyes to “tell that black (expletive) you are better than him” at a training session in 2004. Aragones was referring to Thierry Henry, a black player from France who was then a teammate of Reyes at English Premier League club Arsenal. Aragones also struggled to understand what all the fuss was about, even as anti-racism groups seethed and soccer’s power brokers held their heads. At a Formula One motor racing testing session this year, a group of Spanish fans believed to be supporting home driver Fernando Alonso were pictured with their faces covered with black paint. They wore T-shirts with the slogan “Hamilton’s Family,” a reference to Alonso’s world title rival Lewis Hamilton, a black Englishman. Moreover, at an exhibition match in Madrid in 2004, several black members of the England men’s soccer team were subjected to monkey chants and whistles whenever they touched the ball. Back in Spain, there has been no criticism of the advertisement, just support for a group of players who shoulders the hopes of a nation. Members of the Spanish media who spoke to Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday could not grasp why the issue had garnered so much publicity. And while Gasol, in many ways the public face of Spain’s basketball team, sensed the photo was not a great idea, he refused to back down from his assertion that no harm was intended. “If you put it in the wrong context and put it with the wrong people or a different kind of people, you could take it that way,” he said. “But not with our group and not with our people. I would find that a wrong read
jtmom jtmom 8 years
The ad is absolutely offensive and tasteless. I can't believe at this day and age people are still doing that. At the first sight of it, I definitely felt it. It reminds me of years ago when I was in my grade school, I had a few people mocking me about my eyes. I agree with yesteryear's comment about organicsugr. Organicsugr girl, you're just stupid and ignorant. You're not being sarcastic, you're being rude and missing the whole point.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
I agree with Bellasugar's comment. I think she hit the nail on the head. The actions of the Spanish team were immature at best, racist at worst. I saw this story before I went to work this morning and everybody I talked to about it was horrified by the actions of the Spanish. Nobody I asked was Asian but everybody used the word "racist" in their reaction so go figure. Even if they didn't mean it as a racist gesture, it was certainly disrespectful to their Chinese hosts.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Pink, I was sort of thinking the same thing. Making a generalizations about an entire nation like that is more bigoted than the silly little gesture from the Spanish. How ironic.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
"The spaniards are known for their racism. They think that they are Gods gift to earth. I really hope that the media slams them for this." How can you say that about an entire nation?! That would be like saying, "all muslims are terrorists"... although we all know that is not true! Where are spaniards known for their racism? And where on Earth did you get the idea that they think they are God's gift to earth?
Val-Ezra Val-Ezra 8 years
The spaniards are known for their racism. They think that they are Gods gift to earth. I really hope that the media slams them for this.
alynn28 alynn28 8 years
whoa, calm down. i get what ur saying lonely heart. uve just repeated what 100 other peoples points were regarding the photo. and sorry, but i still feel the photo is ignorant and offensive at best. they never said they hated anyone. hating someone for their race is racist. and that is never stated. when thats confirmed, ill cry and scream in outrage about how horrible they are too.
gitsie123 gitsie123 8 years
that's debatable
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Holy repeat comment batman If the chinese find it offensive it is, do i still sing the "me chinese me play joke me put pee pee in your coke" song yes, am i a racist? no.
L0neLyHeArT L0neLyHeArT 8 years
from alynn28: " was the photo in bad taste? absolutely. was it inappropriate for the olympics? yes. but it was NOT rasicst! how do i know? you didnt get a statement from anyone of the players saying " we did it because we hate the chinese," or any other group of people for that matter. you all have to remember and realize that america is really up tight when it comes to offending people and maintaining political correctness. that doesnt mean that every country holds itself to those standards too. why? because the spainish are not exposed to alot of different cultures trying to live peacefuly so close together. people dont seem to understand what the true defintions of hate or intolerance are anymore. lighten up people." _________________________________________________________________ Actions speaks louder than words. Just because the team didn't put out any statement saying that they hated the Chinese doesn't mean the gesture was offensive or racist. And implying that the Spanish are not exposed to many culture is ignorance, in my opinion. Spain have many different types of culture and diversity.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
This isn't funny at all, and I do find this completely racist.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
Well, I think I can actually contribute something here. I'm probably the only follower on here of Formula 1 racing, it's primarily based in Europe and is overshadowed here by NASCAR and Indy Cars. However, it's *huge* around the world, is very high-budget, and the drivers are major celebrities. Last year there was a British rookie who was (and is) a phenomenon. He also happens to be the first driver with any african heritage; his father's British but from Trinidad, I believe. His teammate was Spanish, the prior year's world champion, and by most reports he didn't appreciate the in-house competition. During a testing session in Spain, local fans swore at him, dressed in blackface, and mocked him and his family. Details and pictures in the linked article from the Daily Mail. So, I kind of see a pattern of bad behavior here. That makes me a bit less sympathetic. I'm generally opposed to please of victimhood based on political correctness, but I would make an exception for this.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Yeah I see what you're saying...and I'm pretty well rounded as far as the company I keep :) but having the actual country as your neighbors must be a different type of experience.
alynn28 alynn28 8 years
good point Da Ly!
alynn28 alynn28 8 years
bluesarah, i wasnt talking about countries. true we have only 2 countries SURROUNDING us. but i can tell you within blocks of me there are mexican communities and all different types of asian communities that have many different things about them i enjoy. i have african american, italian, and irish friends that have strong ties to their roots. so i get to experience soul food on occasion, go to an irish pub and listen to irish drinking songs, and get spoiled with the best italian food ever. i could go on and on about how all these different cultures effect my everyday life since i was a child. and were all americans! i think its a beautiful thing. were so saturated by these different types of traditions and culture that we dont even realize it sometimes.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Racist? Yup. Racism isn't just about shouting bigoted slurs or obviously discriminating against someone because of her race; it's also about turning race into the definition of a person, about making fun of him/her for being "different," and I definitely find that this falls into that category of racism. How is it that out of all of these men, not ONE was like, "Yeah, guys, uh, this is not a good idea"? Citizen makes a good point: This is NOT going to help Spain's chances of getting the Olympics!
Da-Ly Da-Ly 8 years
Considering locations where the olympics have been previously held, how would they do their version of this in a different location? You pose or do something based on the limited knowledge. Don a toga in Athens, get chased by a bull in Barcelona, go to Ikea in Stockholm? You do what you think associates to a location... sadly, true ignorance can prevail when that's the intent. I personally don't think it's racist, but I do think it's the typical ignorant tourist thing to do.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
"...because the spainish are not exposed to alot of different cultures trying to live peacefuly so close together. " alynn that's an interesting thought. The U.S. is so big, we only have two neighbors really, and a large part of our population will probably never visit either of them. Imagine having so many entirely different countries and cultures such a short distance away!
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Gitsie, I was simply saying that the word "stereotype" was not appropriate in this situation. However, I do NOT think people should be offended by blackface or "jiggaboo dolls" alone. It's not saying anything about their race in particular, just making a stupid joke about appearances. I think it's tasteless and not particularly creative, but I think people are too sensitive. If you get offended by every little event like this, then it makes people take it less seriously when people do things that are REALLY outrageous and racist. If I got offended every time a black comedian made a joke about white people, I'd never have time for anything else. I don't really want to talk about this anymore because I think it's pointless. If you're going to be offended by it, that's your choice. I just don't think these people deserve any more outrage than a roll of the eyes.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
LonelyHeart, I never said that all Asian's eyes are shaped the SAME. Certainly they are not. But they ARE shaped differently from Caucasian eyes. I'm not sure what would make you deny that... I agree with Pop and Em that this is NOT satire. If it were, every stupid little kid doing this on the playground would be a satirist.
gitsie123 gitsie123 8 years
Jude, it's not a stereotype. Asian eyes really are shaped differently than Caucasian eyes Soo, I guess African Americans shouldn't be offended by blackface and all those jiggaboo dolls because African Americans really do have dark skin. Just using your logic...
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