After photos were widely circulated showing the Spanish men’s basketball and tennis teams making what can charitably be called ill-advised gestures (the former for an advertisement), the Telegraph’s Matthew Moore has uncovered a similar snapshop featuring Argentina’s female soccer team (link courtesy Ben Schwartz).
The image shows players Maria Potassa, Eva Gonzalez, Fabiana Vallejos and Andrea Ojeda smiling broadly as they pull back the skin on the side of their eyes, in a crude impersonation of Chinese people.
There is no suggestion that the four footballers intended to cause offence.
The photo was published – without provoking controversy – in the Argentine sports newspaper Ole on Aug 5, to accompany a preview of the team™s first match of the tournament against Canada.
Argentina™s women footballers had a torrid time at the Beijing Games, losing all their three games, including a 2-0 defeat to China in their final match.
I’m not sure what the IOC’s official policy is regarding mocking nationality or ethnicity (to paraphrase Roy Munson, I hope they’re against it), but there’s something rather lazy about claiming an act is offensive merely because one group, large or small, professed to be unoffended.