The Spanish men’s and women’s Olympic basketball team and 2008 Federation Cup Tennis women’s team posed for pictures making the ever offensive slate eye gesture. Among the people participating in the vulgar act includes LA Lakers superstar Pau Gasol and Toronto Raptors point guard Jose Manuel Calderon.
The photo of the Spanish men’s and women’s Olympic basketball team was part of a publicity campaign for team sponsor Seur, a Spanish courier company, and is being used only in Spain. A Seur official in Madrid said the company had not intended to offend the Chinese people, but has no immediate plans to withdraw the ad, which is scheduled to run on selected days until the end of the games. The advertisement has been condemned by international media and the IOC. Spain’s Olympic basketball team is expected to apologize for making the slit-eye gestures. During the China vs Spain basketball game in the Beijing Olympics, Spain was consistently getting booed.
Also during the week, a photo of the 2008 Federation Cup Tennis women’s team making the slant eye gesture was revealed. Among those in the photo are Nuria Llagostera Vives, Anabel Medina Garrigues, and Carla Suarez-Navarro, who are all competing in the Beijing Games. More booed are expected to rain down on these players.
Spain will try to shake off the string of racist photos by its athletes. However, the “slant eyes” gesture could damage Madrid’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Listen to NPR’s Looking Into The Spanish Team’s “Slant Eyes” here.
This YouTube commentary sums it all up