Spanish team needs to fully apologize

The most offensive statement concerning the Spanish basketball team’s controversial photo was not the actual photo itself, but in the apology, or lack thereof, that followed afterward.

By now, the photo has made its rounds on the Internet and sports talk shows. It shows the 15 Spanish players on the national team in uniform pulling back the skin on their eyelids, in a “slanted-eye” pose in front of a dragon pictured on a basketball court.

Indeed, the photo is clearly offensive on its face, and there’s no doubt that the Spaniards shouldn’t have taken this picture. It’s racist as its worst, and thoughtless at its best. You’d figure at some point along the way, one of the Spanish players, or the coaches, or the advertisers, or the Olympic committee, really, anyone, would’ve pointed out that this was going to be offensive before publication.

Yet it slipped all the way through the many levels of review that are in place, and now the Spanish team has tainted its imagine, something that will follow it for quite some time.

But the reaction from the Spanish team was even more perplexing.

“It was something . . . supposed to be funny or something but never offensive in any way,” said forward Pau Gasol, who currently plays for the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers.

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Imus’ apology not enough this time

Don Imus had this to say about his offensive remarks:

“If I wanted to offend somebody,” Imus said, “I would have let you know, but I wasn’t trying to offend and I’m sorry.”

The quote could’ve been something that Imus had said while apologizing for his boneheaded and racist remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. It would’ve been some sort of reconciliation for a swallow remark with little sensitivity to minorities.

But that quote wasn’t the result of the fallout from his comments on college women’s basketball. Actually, it was a statement that Imus had read over the air in November 2006 when dealing with the Asian American community.

Back in November, the topic on hand dealt with a story about obesity in China. Despite sidekick Charles McCord’s best efforts, Imus predictably delved into controversy and stupidity, asking whether anyone had ever seen a “fat Chinaman.”

“I know this sounds bigoted – I’m not – but have you ever seen a fat Chinese man? Chinaman?” Imus said. And, despite sidekick Charles McCord’s best efforts to subdue Imus, he again said, “60 million fat Chinamen.”

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