Olympic Thriller: Greek Athlete Voula Papachristou Banned from the Games for Racist Tweet




    On July 23, Greek Olympian Voula Papahristou, who has already traveled to London to participate in the upcoming Olympics, wrote a racist comment on her Twitter profile which caused many reactions.

    “With so many African people living in Greece, mosquitoes of the West Nile [virus] are eating home-made food,” wrote Mrs Papahristou on her twitter account.

    Greek media started retweeting her comment and publishing reports on her comment.  She has had to apologize for her statements.

    Today’s Thriller!

    When Voula Papahristou realized that many people were opting against her comment, describing her as racist, she apologized for her ‘joke.’ “I thought it was a joke, but I feel sorry for offending some people, despite having no such intention,” she replied.

    Then she changed her profile picture, removing her face and putting Twitter’s egg. Later on, after having received thousands insulting as well supporting comments, she deleted her personal Twitter profile.

    But only a few minutes ago, she made a new one again! “It was a bad joke. I don’t believe in discrimination among humans,” she tweeted.

    However, Greek website lifo.gr published some older tweets of Voula Papahristou. Many of them are retweets from far-right Golden Dawn party’s official page or its MPs’ personal pages, all showing her “patriotic” beliefs.

    Greek Political Parties’ Reaction

    Greek party Democratic Left sent an open letter to the media as well as the Olympic Committee, asking for them to exclude Voula Papahristou from the Olympic Games. “Such comments have nothing in common with the Olympic spirit,” they stated.

    Greek Olympic Committee’s Latest Reaction

    The Greek Olympic Committee announced only minutes ago that Mrs Voula Papahristou is not a member of the Hellenic Olympic Team any more. Similar to the views expressed by the Democratic Left party, the Committee commented that the Greek athlete’s view is completely opposed to that of the Olympic spirit.


    27 COMMENTS

    1. It is an anecdote here in Greece, what she re-tweet. Nothing more. As we all say anecdotes for the blonds. It’s just humor, nothing racist.
      But…obviously the Hellenic Olympic committee is sooooo stupid…

    2. One person’s humor is often mistaken by others as an attack: ie racist.  Is she a natural blond, or has the bleach just affected her brain?  I think banning her is not in keeping with the Olympic spirit – shame on the GOC for doing that.

    3. Excellent work Greek Olympic team -yes ,as a Greek she should not shame the Olympic spirit .
      There are many Africans in London anyway ; she would have felt uncomfortable here ! Good riddance and boycott her from all competition.

    4. She can triple jump me any time.  What a stupid decision by the Greeks.  Another in a long line of stupid decisions.

    5. because she said african people not blacks. there are white people in africa dumbass. is the whole world retarded. obviously the greek olympic council and government are. god forbid anybody have an opinion that differs from the rest of the world which in its genius is in dire straits. it is sad we are the top of the food chain because 90% of our species are idiots that couldnt change their own oil.

    6. Banning her from the Olympics is completely against the meaning of the Olympics.  During ancient times the Olympic truce called on all cities to stop fighting and rejoice through competitive sport.  The political and religious differences were put on hold for 14 days.  Does the Olympic games not allow countries and athletes of different religions and political philosophies from preforming?  We have Jews, Christians, Muslims, Communists in the games.  Therefore, whether we like it or not why shouldn’t fascists be allowed.  We should take the higher road and conquer through forgiveness.  Isolating those with different thoughts is just a repression of free speech.

    7.  Racism isn’t only about black and white! She could have easily have been disqualified from the Olympics if she said something else tasteless like: “Not many golf courses here, guess I won’t have to listen to the Jews bitching about not be allowed in!”  OR “Wow, haven’t seen a cat one here; lots of Chinese restaurants though. Won’t be eating Chinese food!” 

    8. that’s not racist…as a matter of fact its kinda funny..i don’t think any black people would think so either. you know maybe it could be taken the wrong way.
      i don’t think she meant it in a wrong way though…

    9. It’s pretty obvious that this is all political.  It seams the only people to really want to end her olympic career were the Greek political parties and the fighting.  Its a shame..

    10. Are you serious?  How is that NOT racist?   So, a simple (but not particularly funny) joke about African Immigrants and how they’re living in Greece is in no way going to belittle or begrudge an immigrant living in Greece?  

      A simple test of whether something is racist or not is to imagine how you would feel if someone made a similar “joke” about a national stereotype that’s closer to you.   Let’s take for example the article that appeared in Das Bild during Euro 2012 (https://greece.greekreporter.com/2012/06/22/bild-greek-national-footballers-drink-and-smoke-a-lot/).    When you read it, did you feel insulted?  Did you feel angry?   Did you feel that it was unfair that you as a nation were being scapegoated because of actions outside of your control (e.g. politicians and bankers)? 

      That’s because that article was racist, and so was Voula’s tweet.  Was her comment stupid?   Yes, of course it was.   But ignorance is no excuse

    11. People that use these open networks to post their personal thoughts are idiotic. You are 
      obviously betting on a poor investment if you believe these social networks wont soon have a very low following. Remember MY Space. 

    12. Just you know… the story has generated over 6,000 comments in the Huffington Post – a left wing newspaper – and the comments are about 90% in her favor.  Dumb move by Greece.

    13. These things don’t require referenda, they require leadership. We don’t subject the rights of minorities to majority rule principles. It’s wrong to discriminate, no matter who is doing it. And how in the world could such a comment be in the Olympic spirit??!!

    14. I’m black and I’m insulted. There is a context here too. This bottle blond (a condition that she can change) has been making statements against people in relation to characteristics that they cannot change (the colour of their skin). Place the comment in context and you have the reason why she’s unfit. It was not a one off – she’s a racist.

      Let her crawl into that barbaric cave that she belongs in with all of those fascistic “F***ed Up Dawn” people.

    15.  ??? The article of Bild is not an anecdote. And is not about Greece, politicians, bankers etc, but for the Greek athletes in euro.
      There are many anecdotes about Greeks, Americans, Jews, British etc, and we just laugh with them. Nothing more and nothing less….

    16.  Oh, I see.     So, it doesn’t matter if the tweet is racist or not, because it’s an “anecdote”?   Thanks for clearing that up then.

    17. Oh, I see.     So, it doesn’t matter if the tweet is racist or not,
      because it’s an “anecdote”?   All things considered,  “anecdotes” or “jokes” in this vein, are actually a very insidious form of racist abuse.   

      When you say “it’s just a joke”, it means that the target of the abuse cannot respond without being labelled as “having no sense of humour”, as if they’re supposed to laugh at jokes at their, or their race’s expense.