Swiss Athlete Removed From Olympic Team Over Anti-Korean Tweet

Twitter appears to be claiming more athletes than drugs or injuries this year. We recently discussed the decision to remove a Greek jumper from the Olympic team over a couple of tweets that were considered offensive. I disagreed with that decision, though many have supported it. Now, Swiss Michel Morganella has been sent home for making insulting remarks on Twitter about South Koreans after the South Korean soccer team beat the Swiss, 2-1, on Sunday.

The tweet was removed but reportedly involved French slang for Koreans and questioned their intelligence.

Gian Gilli, the head of the Swiss Olympic delegation, said that Morganella, 23, had “said something insulting and discriminatory” about the South Korean soccer team. For his part, Morganella said that he had “made a huge mistake” by sending the Twitter message after the game and that he was “truly sorry for the people in South Korea, for footballers, but also for the Swiss delegation and the Swiss football in general.”

This case for me is stronger than the case of the Greek jumper, who seemed equally condemned for her political associations. The difference for me is that Morganella was participating in the games at the time and used a reportedly racist term for his competitors. I still feel bad for athletes who lose so much in unguarded moments.

Morganella is a defender for Palermo and the Switzerland football team. He is half Italian and half Swiss.

One thing that is clear. National teams need to do Twitter training if they do not want their ranks thinned by stupid commentary.

Source: New York Times

17 thoughts on “Swiss Athlete Removed From Olympic Team Over Anti-Korean Tweet”

  1. So you aren’t allowed to tell anybody to pi** off anymore? Just don’t tear up the motel room.

  2. I’m glad that there’s twitter to let these pigs “out” themselves. Each nation should direct their olympic officials to prevent pigs from ever advancing to the olympics in the first place. Screening and background investigating should be thorough. Let’s resolve to treat pigs as the toxin that they are. Employers should develop company policy that immediately expel all pigs in the workplace as well. In social spheres, pigs should be treated as disease carrying vermin.

  3. rafflaw, There always has been and always will be racial, cultural, religious, sexual, animus. Political correctness tamps a lot of it down which causes the boil to fester. Sunshine is the antiseptic. We adopted our son from Colombia. We live in a pretty white school district. A kid called our son “spic” on the bus. The school informed us[bus driver told the principal] and we talked w/ our son. I told my son what my father told me when I was called “greaseball” by Wasps growing up in the 50’s and 60’s.. He said, “Nick, @ least they said it to your face, it’s the ones who smile to your face and call you that behind your back that you need to watch out for.”

  4. I used to love to watch the Olympics….this year I only looked forward to the opening ceremony and found it had been wrapped up tighter than a drumhead. So I still can’t find a way to see it though I’d love to see Voldemort choke on Mary Poppins umbrella….but for some strange reason I have no desire to see the competitions…I canna stomache the thought of having to see or hear another thing about the cheating, the doping, the ads, the general dickishness that everyone seems to find so alluring…….blech. Just blech……

  5. Does it seem to anyone else that this years Olympic games have been laden with ‘issues’ that really have nothing to do with the games themselves?

  6. Anonymous Rock throwing. We human cave people have a most advanced technological form of information sharing, the ability to share knowledge, and communicate ideas, to the betterment of humankind. ….. And we still throw rocks.
    Oh Well….. You can take the person out of the cave, but you can’t take the cave out of the person.

  7. “He used a racial slur for Korean.”

    Actually, not directly (not that that makes it a bit better, mind).

    The original tweet: “Je fonsde out les coreen allez sout vous lebru. Ahahahhahahaah deban zotre.”
    That’s Verlan, a kind of French pig latin or Cockney rhyming slang: “Je défonce tous les Coréens, allez tous vous brûler. Bande de trisos.”

    “Trisos” is a slur for people with trisomy 21 (aka Down’s syndrome), used here in an obviously racist manner (because DS is associated both with mental retardation and epicanthic folds).

    I think that (and the fantasy threat of violence) is unsportsmanlike enough to be kicked out of a competition.

  8. The world has gone mad and it is not an accident that there is so much racial animus being disclosed in these tweets.

  9. “I still feel bad for athletes who lose so much in unguarded moments.”

    I find it difficult to muster sympathy for an Olympic athlete who makes racist comments.

  10. I guess the life of Olympics is getting to be like a box of chocolates of the Forrest Gump sort.

  11. He used a racial slur for Korean.

    What makes this one a bit different from the Greek story (assuming the news reports are exactly correct & thats probably a silly assumption – although it was not the US media so the standards for reporting would be higher than we Americans are used to) is that it was the IOC that pulled his credentials and not his countries committee. That would make it a bit trickier to justify the punishment to me.

  12. I note a player in the photo bearing the good beer label of Carling. That may explain everything.

  13. The Swiss are being naughty. I thought they just made chocolate, watches, and peace.

  14. How about taking the cell phone or tweeting ability away for 17 days at least…..sometimes impulse gets the better of folks…..

  15. It would be nice to know the athlete’s tweet. What did he say? A stupid move for sure but I’m wondering if it’s a reaction to a not-so-nice on-the-pitch event. Soccer has become like some elements of professional wrestling.

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