In yet another example of poor sportmanship, Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella has been expelled from the Olympics after posting a racist message on Twitter. Swiss Olympic team chief Gian Gilli said that the 23-year-old Morganella is being stripped of his Olympic accreditation because he “discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korea football team as well as the South Korean people.”
On Sunday, after losing 2-1 to South Korea’s soccer team, Morganella posted a tweet with a racist reference to South Koreans as “Mongoloids.” “Je défonce tous les Coréens, allez tous vous brûler bande de trisos” (“I want to beat up all the Koreans, a bunch of Mongoloids”), Morganella wrote @morgastoss. The account has since been deleted.
Besides being racist, Morganella’s tweet also made an offensive reference to individuals with intellectual disabilities and to Down Syndrome, which is also called Trisomy 21 as those with the disability have an extra copy of chromosome 21.
Last week, 23-year-old Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was expelled from the Games after posting a tweet with a racist remark about Africans in response to reports of an outbreak of the West Nile virus in Athens. While she has issued an apology, Papachristou (who was a longshot to win a medal) and her coach have complained that her expulsion was “excessive.” She has been saying that she is “very bitter and upset” after what happened, according to the Guardian.
Morganella has issued a statement. According to the Swiss daily Le Matin, Morganella says that he made a “huge mistake” and that he is “truly sorry for the people in South Korea, for the soccer players, but also for the Swiss delegation and Swiss soccer in general” and will “accept the consequences.”
Le Matin says that the Swiss soccer association is considering whether to pursue further sanctions against Morganella.
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