Greek TV Station Fined, One-Day Ban for Antetokounmpo Slur

first_imgATHENS – Greek TV station New Epsilon was fined 30,000 euros ($33,980) and will go dark for 24 hours as punishment for sports commentator Takis Tsoukalas called Panatinaikos basketball player Thanassis Antetokounmpo, who is of Nigerian origin, an “ape” during a call of a game.The player is the brother of NBA and Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is known affectionately to fans as “The Greek Freak,” because of his uncanny abilities. Before his prowess was known though, he and his family couldn’t get Greek citizenship but he praisses Greece in interviews and speaks the language fluently, better than many Greek-Americans.The day-long ban against New Epsilon will take effect on Jan. 10. There was no report on whether the commentator was fined or just his station or if he would otherwise face any punishment as the law allows up to three years in jail for racial incitement.Tsoukalas is an open fan of Olympiakos and made his comments during a game in which his favorite club was playing arch-rival Panathiniakos.“They have an ape. That Antetokounmpo guy is an ape — that’s what I’m telling you,” he said. “What is that clown doing? Isn’t he ashamed of himself? He’s making his brother look bad.” The word is especially pejorative for people of African descent who consider it aimed at their appearance by racists.Tsoukalas angrily denied his criticism was racially motivated and insisted he was referring to behavior on the court.Thanasis Antetokounmpo,drew support from Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who wore a national team shirt over his clothes with the name Antetokounmpo on the back.Giannis Antetokounmpo at the time said Tsoukala’s comments were racist.“I have lost sleep over the last few days over this negative-racist incident which occurred recently,” Giannis wrote on Twitter.“If this happens to Thanasis, who with pride and a permanent smile represents the Greek national team and Panathinaikos, I can’t imagine what is happening to other colored people in Greece.”Thanasis Antetokounmpo didn’t want to talk about the incident when pushed by reporters about what he thought. “I don’t have anything to tell you,” he said. “We should just love each other and stay united.”TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

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