London 2012: Swiss Olympic Soccer Player Sent Home for Racist Twitter Remarks
In the second such occurrence of these London Summer Olympics, Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella was expelled from his side for racially-charged remarks he made on Twitter.
The incident occurred after Switzerland lost to South Korea on Sunday in their second group stage match, a crushing setback for the Swiss' hopes of getting out of Group B and into the quarterfinals.
The young fullback was understandably upset by the loss, but took to Twitter and let loose a string of unacceptable remarks about people from his opponent's homeland.
Morganella said South Koreans were "a bunch of mongoloids," that he wanted to beat them up and that they should "burn."
Quite rightly, the Swiss Olympic committee decided to send the 23-year-old home from London despite the fact that he deleted his Twitter account.
Last week, it was Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou who was sent home for inappropriate tweets after comments made about African immigrants.
These two cases further emphasize the new environment athletes must adjust to in this technological world.
Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinions, but such public figures must be careful not to make controversial comments in the public eye, whether in the heat of the moment or not.
Still, after spelling out at a news conference that Morganella had "discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity" of the South Korean team, the chief of the Swiss Olympic committee Gian Gilli made it clear that he hopes the 23-year-old Palermo player learns from the experience:
"Michel indeed does realize that his behavior was wrong. We hope that he will draw the necessary lessons for his still-young football career."
Let's just hope that all young athletes finally use these issues to learn about the dangers of Twitter.
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