A Swiss soccer player was expelled from the Olympics on Monday for his threatening and racist message on Twitter about South Koreans. The comments by Michel Morganella came hours after Switzerland lost to South Korea.
Morganella “discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korea football team as well as the South Korean people,” Swiss Olympic team chief Gian Gilli said through a translator at a news conference. He said the player was stripped of his Olympic accreditation.
Morganella is the second athlete kicked off a London Olympics team for offensive Twitter comments, following Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou.
He posted the message after playing in the 2-1 loss against South Korea on Sunday. He said in the tweet that South Koreans “can go burn” and referred to them as a “bunch of mongoloids.”
The 23-year-old player later released a contrite statement through Swiss Olympic.
Last week, Greece Olympic officials tossed Papachristou off the team after she posted a comment mocking African immigrants and supporting a far-right political party.
Surely there was no shortage of racism (concealed or otherwise) among the athletes at previous Olympics. But Twitter has now made it too easy to transmit your previously-private prejudices to the rest of the world.
Of course these ejections are justified, and let’s hope other athletes take heed.