The Serbian volleyball player is banned after being caught on camera making racist gestures during the game against Thailand
- Sanja Djurdjevic has been suspended for two games after being caught on camera
- Her eyes narrowed with her fingers during the June 1 game against Thailand
- She immediately apologized to the Thai team, according to her Instagram post
- The Serbian Volleyball Federation urged fans not to go overboard.
- The whole Serbian team was seen on camera in May 2017 making the same gesture
A Serbian volleyball player was banned after being caught on camera making a racist gesture during a game against Thailand.
Sanja Djurdjevic has been banned from two games after a screenshot of her narrowing her eyes with her fingers during the June 1 game was posted online and sparked a backlash.
She was also fined £ 15,800 (CHF 20,000), which the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) says will be donated to either an anti-discrimination charity or an educational program on cultural sensitivity.
Serbian volleyball player Sanja Djurdjevic was banned after she played against Thailand on Jan.
The Serbian volleyball player was suspended for two games and fined £ 15,000 after she was found to have breached the disciplinary rules
Djurdjevic apologized for the gesture and wrote on Instagram: “I am aware of my mistake and apologized to the entire Thai team immediately after the game.
“I just wanted to address my teammates with the message: ‘Now we’re going to start playing like them’, I didn’t mean to disrespect anyone,” she added on her now deactivated page.
The Serbian Volleyball Federation also apologized for the incident, calling it a “simple misunderstanding” and asking: Fans not to “exaggerate” this in a statement.
“Sanja is aware of her mistake and immediately apologized to the entire Thai team,” she added.
“She didn’t mean disrespect. Of course it was a shame. It all ended as a simple misunderstanding, in a friendly atmosphere between the players of the two teams.
But a petition urging the association to “do their job and discipline its players” had collected more than 5,200 signatures online by Thursday morning.
It argued Djurdjevic should be punished more severely for the racist gesture, saying “an apology is the bare minimum as a human”.
“Djurdjevic and the national volleyball team represent their country in an official sport with official FIVB rules and these rules must be followed in order to maintain credibility and set the standard for the world …
“When athletes and teams violate the most basic ethics of respect, governing bodies must set the right example to protect the disrespectful and marginalized in order to uphold their standards and integrity,” she added.
In May 2017, the Serbian volleyball team landed in hot water after celebrating their spot at the World Cup in Japan by posing for a photo with the same racist gesture
In May 2017, the Serbian volleyball team celebrated winning European qualification for the FIVB World Cup by posing for a team photo with the same racist gesture.
The players put their fingers to their eyes, seemingly mimicking a Japanese after beating Poland to secure their place in the competition.
The image on the court was posted on the qualifying tournament website before it was hastily removed.
It’s not the first time athletes have made tasteless gestures.
In 2017, Argentine soccer player Ezequiel Lavezzi apologized after a photo of him grimacing to mimic the Chinese went viral on social media.
And in 2008, the Spanish basketball team published an ad in which the men’s and women’s players used their fingers to make their eyes look more Chinese on a basketball court adorned with a Chinese dragon.
In 2008, the Spanish basketball team posted an ad showing players using their fingers to make their eyes look more Chinese on a basketball court
Both the men’s and women’s teams took part in the advertising campaign and were depicted on a square decorated with a Chinese dragon