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IOC critical of Spanish basketball team ad

A man in Madrid, on August 13, 2008, looks at an advertisment that appeared in the Spanish daily sports newspaper Marca featuring Spains national basketball team members in uniform pulling back the skin on their eyelids, and smiling. The controversial photo is making the rounds on the Internet, and may be considered racially insensitive.

BEIJING -- The International Olympic Committee has weighed in on the advertisement featuring the Spanish men's basketball team that some have deemed offensive because it mimics the eyes of Chinese.

"Clearly, it was inappropriate,'' IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said Thursday.

"But we understand the team apologized and the athletes meant no offense whatever. So, as far as we are concerned, the matter rests.''

The ad was for Seur a courier company based in Madrid. The company said it had no plans to pull the ad. But the Times' Bill Plaschke and Mark Heisler both weighed in on the ad earlier.

-- Randy Harvey

Photo: A man in Madrid looks at an advertisement that appeared in the Spanish daily sports newspaper Marca featuring Spain's national basketball team members in uniform pulling back the skin on their eyelids, and smiling.  Credit: Miguel Riopa AFP/Getty Images

 
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Comments (81)

Haha, so ridiculous you are, dudes. Offensive gesture? Of course, you know very well how racist can be such gesture like that, you lived many years in a real apartheid's state. Travel more and know my country before you spit such nonsenses.

Haha, so ridiculous you are, dudes. Offensive gesture? Of course, you know very well how racist can be such gesture like that, you lived many years in a real apartheid's state. Travel more and know my country before you spit such nonsenses. Cya!

Hello from Spain. This is so ridiculous. It's not offensive at all the ad. It's incredible that a country which obviously has a much more racist history like the US thinks we are racist because of such a thing. Your attitude reminds me of Al Qaeda's reaction to Mahoma's pictures published in a danish newspaper some years ago. Ridiculous.

and is not to devastate a country as Iraq in search of weapon of massive destruction annoying? American citizens, please open the eyes that you are always the first ones in doing what it is not necessary to do.

you are sick mentally

Ok. I will not opine of this ad, but I would like to say something:
If you dont like the ad, or the players attitude, good. You are on your right to think this. But PLEASE Dont insult a whole country just because you dont like a few people. Because everybody can do the same thing with you. They can say that your country do this thing or that thing or whatever, and that you are the same.
Each person is a world, you are not like everybody in your country

Could your wonderful newspaper inform us about what the Chinese embassy has said about the issue?
I guess with such good journalist in LA is not gonna be so hard to find out.

I think that this history is irreal ... racism? where? pleaaaaseeee, it's an affectionate gesture. It has said up to the Chinese Embassy in Madrid ...
It is necessary neither to give it any more returns nor think things that are not.
Thank you and I'm sorry ... my english it's very poor.

Sorry for my English, I´m from spain and I want to said that in my country this picture was do it like a form to said hello china we going to your country and we are your fraind, never was used like a offensive.
We sponsor is from asia and they used this picture to do publicity in asia. This new is a copy from England newpaper and they use tu attack our country becuase they have a lot of racist case, is a form to said we aren´t the unique racist country,( if your want to now it is true, look the last election in UK and check the BNP, British National Party, one of the most racist party at the word).
When American people come to my country alwais put a "montera" and try to dancing "flamenco" and never anyone said nothing about, becouse we don´t thik that is a offensive, we thik that is a form to said "I like your culture and your people.
Please don´t thik the UK notice are real, come to my country or ask the people to came here, and your know that Spain isn´t a racist country.

Thank you for the oportunity to said anythink about my country.

Sorry for my English, I´m from spain and I want to said that in my country this picture was do it like a form to said hello china we going to your country and we are your fraind, never was used like a offensive.
We sponsor is from asia and they used this picture to do publicity in asia. This new is a copy from England newpaper and they use tu attack our country becuase they have a lot of racist case, is a form to said we aren´t the unique racist country,( if your want to now it is true, look the last election in UK and check the BNP, British National Party, one of the most racist party at the word).
When American people come to my country alwais put a "montera" and try to dancing "flamenco" and never anyone said nothing about, becouse we don´t thik that is a offensive, we thik that is a form to said "I like your culture and your people.
Please don´t thik the UK notice are real, come to my country or ask the people to came here, and your know that Spain isn´t a racist country.

Thank you for the oportunity to said anythink about my country.

Este mismo pais (USA), que nos tacha de racistas a los españoles, por rasgasnos lo ojos, ¿es el mismo que?:
-Va ha hacer un muro en la frontera con Mexico?
-Tenía leyes racistas hasta hace no muy poco, años 70, segregacionistas?
-Los policías "blancos" apalean con total impunidad a Afroamericanos, como ha pasado varias veces en Los Ángeles?
-Tienen Guantanamo?
-Han provocado más de 650.000 muertos en Irak?
-Tienen a un periodista llamado Bill Plaschke, que primero nos llama racista pero despues nos dice "país pequeño" de formas despreciativa?
Tiene razón Bill Plaschke, USA tiene toda la razón del mundo de llamar a España racista, ya que USA es paradigma de la concordia entre loas distintos pueblos, como explico más arriba, USA es el típico país de: haz lo que yo te digo, pero no hagas lo que yo hago.

The spanish newspaper "EL PAIS" asked the chinese embassy if the ad was offensive. The chinese ambassador in Spain said there is no problem at all, because there is a good relationship between both countries.

Mr. Bill Plaschke wrote very sad things about Spain and the spanish people. I don't understand how could he write something so stupid even if he has never been in Spain before.

Mr. Plaschke is not a good journalist at all. He should work in Britain for "The Sun" or "The Daily Mirror".

Regards

Are de eyes of chinese people a "defect"? When Olympic Games were in Sweden, please, don't put blonde hair!

Soy español y me parece patetico lo de este periodista que acusa de racismo a España y exige una disculpa a Pau Gasol. Una persona que piensa así y tacha a España como pequeño país con desprecio no merece explicación ninguna,pero tambien pequeña (como tu cerebro) te la voy a dar:lo 1º que es un gesto que los chinos supongo que ya habrán asumido,2º que en EEUU sois tan simples que veis algo así y no dais para más,3ºEspaña está en Europa y posee un tamaño de aproximadamente dos millones de ciudades como los angeles juntas,así que coje un mapa,"pequeño paleto".Y la 4º,por si no te gustan las anteriores,porque no nos bombardeais como soleis hacer cuando algo no os gusta?piensalo con tu pequeño cerebro....bye

Por favor, esto es racismo? entonces si el equipo españos se puesiera un sombrero de vaquero en unos jjoo en eeuu, tambien seriamos racistas?. EEUU si tendria que haberse disculpado en el mundial de japon 2006 cuando Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade y LeBron James se dedicaban a hacer el saludo militar constantetemente. Que asco de doble moral la estado unidense. Si conocierais un poquito solo la idiosincrasia española......

El comportamiento de los medios de comunicacion norteamericanos es impresentable. En España, "ese pequeño país" nos reimos de la doble moral del que consideramos uno de los paises más racistas del planeta. No creo que Estados Unidos este en una posición moral que le permita dar lecciones a nadie. En su país confunden lo politicamente correcto con el respeto real y sincero de los que son diferentes. Un país tan extremadamente ignorante, en el que la mayoría de sus ciudadanos desconocen el resto del mundo y son incapaces de trazar un mapa que no sea de su pueblo no puede dar lecciones a nadie. Un país que sigue mirando con recelo a los afroamericanos, los hispanos bajo la apariencia de lo politicamente correcto, no puede dar lecciones a nadie. Todos sabemos que su único Dios es el dinero y que su defensa de los grandes valores es siempre interesada. Seguramente necesiten ustedes todo este circo para creerse que son una sociedad libre de prejucios, nadie se lo cree. Hay asociaciones en su país de corte racista que avergonzarían a cualquier nación. Sus complejos les llevan a creer que todos somos como ustedes y que determinados gestos esconden racismo.

Even the chinese embassy in Madrid says that they are not ofende by this advertisement. Please, stop bother with this. And don't worry Spain will win your "Dream" team despite your efforts.

Hi. I think that you have a problem with racism. You have remorses for every years in that had in-treated all the races. You want to thow the fault to others. Do you think that britains are assasins for killed the Juventus supporters or american youngs are assasins for the school killed?. You have a problem. Your big hipocresy. I'm sorry for you. But the only demostrate racist countries are yours. Great Britain and US. We have never killed anybody for his race but you did it a lot of time. Think what you want. Write what your conscience dictate. You are racist forever

It's funny... it's not cool a simple photo with no bad intentions, but it seems it's cool for Bill Plaschke and IOC the China repression over his people and Tibet, it seems it's cool an Olympiad full of manipulations... yes, it's funny...

Hi,
I encourage everyone to visit Spain and understand that all comments about this advertismet and conntection with racisms or whatever are wrong.

In Spain, we respect everyone which comes from abroad. 39000 China population live in Madrid, The goverment fits out a place in order to all these citizens show the Olimpic games ceremony, with Chinesse performances and so on. But these kind of news do not matter to US and UK journalists

Also, I encorage everyone to make a comparision between Spain and whatever other country, specially US in terms of racisms.

The US newpapers, first they should look inside before talk about another countries that they do not know anything about them.

It is sad that this newspaper says that Gasol should say sorry about it and the reason be that they are working on Lakers team. As far as I know nobody say someting about Kobe Brian and his comments about Italy.

I am sure that California and Los Angeles are a free region without racisms, and I say that without know it, but it is not fair that anyone spokes about Spain having absolutely unknowledge about it.

Thanks.

STOP this nonsense. This is only racist in a racist´s mind. This is offensive only if you think chinese eyes are bad. This is not worthy of a serious newspaper. There are not more important news to care about?

If nobody cares about this in China or Spain, what are US and UK doing on this? Why? Who do you think you are?

You, the ones that think this is racist, are the true racists.

Don´t insult a whole country just because you don´t like a few people of that country, because everybody could do the same with you. Or worse...

"Let the Spanish act racist in the privacy of their own little country", Bill Plaschke
dixit.
Dear Bill, I am from Barcelona City, Spain. of course I doesn´t care what do you think about my country. Insult all spanish society it is not the way, dear sir. maybe wasn´t a great idea to take that picture, right, but that picture made all spanish people a racist society?. please, stay for ever in Beijin learning to play ping pong, a great favor to the journalist of this world.

Dont judge a whole community just for a few people

·Some people write about Luis Aragones. Well, I didnt like him, and what he said about Thierry Henry. But he also said that Marcos Senna, a black spanish player, was the best player at the last Eurocope... and now Aragones is coaching a turkish team! Why nobody write these news? Because they know these are not "interesting".
·And what about Hamilton? Recently, Lewis said he likes Spain very much, he has been there a lot of times, ejoying with people. But before, ten stupids screamed him because they thought Lewis was bad with Alonso the last year... and what about the rest of 100' 000 people who where there?Are they racist too?
·About Pau Gasol and the spanish basketball team... where is the new about their donation to an NGO to help african people? WHERE IS IT?! Because that happened some weeks ago.
·Where are the news about when some foreign people visit Spain and buy some "souvenirs" like castañuelas and bullfight hats and saying all the time "ole, ole!!". We dont mind it! Because is humor.
Like when the spanish basketball team won the last worldcup in Japan, they wear japanese headbands with japanese symbols. Its a symbol because they were feeling a little bit like japanese, because they were living there for a month. And the american team did a gesture like militaries... was that racist? Definitly NOT.
·Besides, in some articles, people write about a woman who kicked an ecuatorian, or the catalan guy who kicking another latinamerican. Don´t you think that everyspanish hate these things? We hate it!we condemn it with the law! Like you hate when happen racists attacks in your countries. Its not your fault, its fault of some insensitive people, who has no place in the world.

If you are insulting a whole country just because you dont like a few people of that country, think about it, because the rest of people could do the same thing, or worst, with you

...Pero qué cortos que sois. (that means "your narrow-mind")
Do you know my name? Surely no.. I am why your country exists ... I was the queen of the small country that discovered America ...
Do you know what "racismo" means?

Hi, this notice it's only a disturb for the spanish team...plz remember when Jesse Owen's go to Germany olimpics and his go to the hotels with races off all the world, and when he go to USA, he only could go to hotels with only afroamerican's...

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