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August 15, 2008 5:45 PM

New Spanish Team, Same Spanish Racism

A few days ago, in a now infamous picture, the Spanish Olympic basketball team posed for a picture in which they were seen "slanting" their eyes, a motion that is probably best described, at the very least, as offensive. Instead of apologizing, the Spanish have defended their actions.

"It was something . . . supposed to be funny or something but never offensive in any way," said forward and NBA Lakers' Pau Gasol.

Gasol seems to be apologizing for the effect that the photo had, instead of taking the taking of the photo in the first place.

Said Spanish point guard Jose Calderon, who plays for the Toronto Raptors: "We felt it was something appropriate, and that it would be interpreted as an affectionate gesture."

Affectionate? Appropriate? Not even on the local playgrounds of elementary schools would anything of this sort be considered appropriate, to say nothing of an Olympian, who is supposed to represent the very best of his country. I know the Olympics are supposed to feature amateur athletes, but this is more like a bunch of four-year olds laughing at vomiting or flatulence.


Unfortunately, it was not an isolated incident for the Spanish. Recently, a picture of the country's Federation Cup team making an eye-slant gesture was discovered, taken just before their match with China.

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Madrid, Spain, is hoping to land the Olympics in 2016. Clearly, they're ready to welcome the world.

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