TV commentator fired for saying South Korean table tennis Olympians had so “narrow” eyes that he couldn’t understand “how they can see the ball”

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South Korean Jeoung Young-sik faces China’s Fan Zhendong in their men’s singles table tennis match at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 28, 2021. Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP via Getty Images
  • Greek TV Olympics commentator Dimosthenis Karmiris was fired on Monday for making a racist remark on air.

  • Karmiris said the eyes of South Korean table tennis players are “so narrow” that he “cannot understand how they can see the ball moving back and forth.”

  • Greek television station ERT said in a statement released the same day that it had fired Karmiris.

  • Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.

A Greek sports commentator has been fired for making a racist on-air comment about South Korean table tennis players.

Asked about the skills of South Korean table tennis players in general, commentator Dimosthenis Karmiris said, “Their eyes are narrow, so I don’t understand how they can see the ball moving back and forth.”

Karmiris provided on-air commentary July 27 after a South Korean table tennis player Jeong Young-sik defeated Greek player Panagiotis Gionis.

Jeong, who is the world ranking number. 5, got ahead of Gionis, who is ranked 17 internationally, four sets to three.

Several hours after the July 27 broadcast, broadcaster ERT fired Karmiris.

“Racist comments have no place on public television,” ERT said in a report. declaration published on their website. “The collaboration between ERT and Dimosthenis Karmiris ended today, immediately after the morning show.”

A series of racist incidents related to the Olympics have surfaced over the past three days.

On July 27, the World Archery Federation released a Tweeter To celebrate the south korea olympic team. However, in its message, the Federation used a kind of typeface called “chop-suey font”. The typeface, which mimics the brush strokes often used in calligraphy, is linked to racist stereotypes of Asians.

A spokesperson for the World Archery Federation said the use of the police was not racist, according to Reuters.

In one separate incident on July 28, TV cameras filmed German sports director Patrick Moster using racist language to encourage German cyclist Nikias Arndt to catch up with its Eritrean and Algerian rivals. By a Metro report, Moster told Ardnt to “bring in the camel drivers.”

“In the heat of the moment, and with the global burden that we have here right now, my choice of words was wrong,” Moster told reporters, per Metro. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I can only sincerely apologize. I didn’t mean to discredit anyone.

The world’s governing body for sport cycling, the Union Cyclist Internationale, issued a statement on Moster on July 28, stating: “There is no place for racism in sport, and the UCI continues its commitment to eradicate all forms of discrimination in cycling and to encourage diversity and equality. “

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