Thursday, July 26, 2012

Olympics Takes A Stand

Papachristou, triple jumper, June 29th, 2012

People in the spotlight never learn that what they type on social networking sites can have serious consequences. Even people that are unknown to the mass public online know that one tweet can get them fired from their jobs. However, their tweets (in comparison to celebs and public figures) is unlikely to go viral and create a huge moral outrage.

Voula Papachristou sent some tweets about Africans and West Nile and was subsequently banned from the Olympics. The triple jumper ducked after some criticisms and was taken out of the London Olympics. She's now bitter and upset. Think how bitter and upset the African community is. If there were little consequences, it would be communicated to the public that this type of behaviour is condoned. 

The 23 year-old tweeted, "With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!" in response to West Nile mosquitos in Athens "as a joke". Stupid move.
Seems Papachristou is not much of a comedian. She has also retweeted Ilias Kasidiaris, the spokeperson for Golden Dawn who became notorious for hitting a woman Communist law maker and throw water at another woman who was a legislator. By the way, he wants to sue his victims for defamation of character. He said that his victims provoked the attack. Umm... No.

Papachristou initially reacted to criticisms by tweeting, "That's how I am. I laugh. I am not a CD to get stuck!!! And if I make mistakes, I don't press the replay! I press Play and move on!!!"

It seems she's a contradiction and went back on her "I don't press replay" because she has since erased those tweets hoping for a clean slate. Unfortuately, she had insulted the character that was trying to be maintained by the Olympics. 

The tweets could be deemed as the opinion(s) of the account holder. However, when you are involved with and a part of a large corporation, when you have the status of a public figure or a celebrity, you cannot remove yourself from the repercussions of your "opinions". Papachristou insulted her fellow African competitors and the Olympics are showing that this behaviour will not be tolerated. After her controversial tweets on Sunday, she sent out six tweets on Wednesdays within two hours as an apology. 

She stated, "After so many years of hurt and sacrifices to try and get to my first Olympics I am very bitter and upset. But what has upset me the most is the excessive reaction and speed of the disciplinary decision."
Well after so many years of hurt and sacrifice, you'd think you wouldn't jeopardize all of that by making stupid moves. Her reaction to the excessive and speed of the disciplinary action makes me laugh. Did she think she would get a trial?

This is another thing that in irritating about people in the spotlight. Although they cause the controversy online, like Twitter, they restrict their apology ONLY to Twitter. Yes, Twitter reaches to millions in an instant. But how sincere is the apology when you type within 140 characters? In Papachristou's case, the maximum characters in her apology were 840, and that includes generously giving her credits of spaces and punctuations.

Instead of involving yourself in Twitter beef and misjudging your actions and trying to erase them later... Why not just do your job? It's one thing to have an opinion, and it is most likely that political opinions can be super charged. But Papchristou's were "meant as a joke" and a good amount of people didn't find it very funny. 

Papachristou's expulsion has been supported by the Hellenic Olympic Committee as well as Greece's track and field federation (SEGAS)

Her coach, Georgi Pomaski, stated that although the decision was understandable, it was harsh for "a kid we're trying to educate". 
Let's be real, 23 years of age IS young, but she is not a child. We expect much from a 23 year old... they can vote, drink, attend college/university, pay rent, pay taxes and have children. She is NOT a child.

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