The Spanish are racists? Who knew?
Um, pretty much everyone on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Spanish athletics have, pardon the word usage, a pretty large black-eye when it comes to tolerance. And that tradition continues.
Prior to leaving for Beijing the Spanish men’s basketball team posed in an ad for a Spanish version of UPS. No, they didn’t ask what yellow could do for you. Instead, each player put their fingers to the corner of their eyes and gave themselves the “squinty-eye look,” with a dragon emblem in front of them.
This incident marks just another in a long line of recent displays of racism by Spanish athletes, fans and coaches.
Here are just a few examples:
It was caught on tape during a training session with his team. Aragones said he used the slur simply as a motivational tool. Sure, and John Rocker and Jeremy Shockey watch Bravo.
The Spanish Federation fined Aragones 3,000 euros (a little more than $4,000 in our booming economy), the equivalent of a day’s pay.
Luis, got a tip for you. Next time, just don’t go into work. Stay home, watch “Boomerang,” “Menace II Society” and “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” and hiss at the TV all you want.
A month after Aragones’ comments, England played against Spain in Madrid and black English players Ashley Cole and Shaun-Wright Phillips were subjected to racist taunts by fans.
Aragones remained Spain’s coach, leading the Spanish to the Euro 2008 title before stepping down and he is regarded as a national hero.
In 2006, Barcelona forward Samuel Eto’o, one of the best in the world, was taunted mercilessly by Real Zaragoza fans with monkey chants. Eto’o, who is a three-time African Player of the Year, reached his breaking point in the 77th minute when he started walking off the field saying, “No more! No more!” Watch. He was later convinced to go back onto the field, but in other matches bananas have been thrown on the pitch his way.
Earlier this year during a Formula One race in Barcelona, F1 up-and-coming star Lewis Hamilton, who is black, was greeted by a group of Spanish fans painted black chanting racial slurs in his direction.
A Spanish newspaper columnist (Jaime Martin) claimed the abuse was just in response to Hamilton’s budding rivalry with Spain’s own whiz kid Fernando Alonso saying, “It’s certain that the insults were racist, but if Lewis was bald the insults would have related to baldness.”
Someone keep Costanza away from the Iberian Peninsula.
So, here’s to Spain. Stay classy. Just remember to keep your eyes open when LeBron and Kobe put their balls on your chin.