Racism scandal at the Olympics as commentator is sacked over racist comments during the table tennis coverage
A Greek sports commentator covering the Tokyo Olympics has been fired after making an on-air racist remark about a South Korean athlete.
The country’s state broadcaster ERT television confirmed on Tuesday they had ended their collaboration with veteran journalist Dimosthenis Karmiris as a guest commentator.
The decision was made following comments he made after Jeoung Young-sik beat Panagiotis Gionis of Greece in men´s table tennis.
Greek TV presenter Dimosthenis Karmiris (pictured) was fired after making the racist comment on-air on Tuesday
South Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik reacts during the table tennis men’s singles third round match against Greece’s Panagiotis Gionis at the 2020 Summer Olympics on July 27
Asked about the skill of South Korean table tennis players he gave the shocking response.
‘Their eyes are narrow so I can´t understand how they can see the ball moving back and forth,’ he said.
Viewers commenting online were stunned.
‘It’s 2021 and this is how a presenter on Greek state television comments on Asian table tennis players,’ one person wrote.
‘The Tokyo Olympics are rapidly turning into a clusterf*** for the Greek state broadcaster,’ another said.
Several hours later, ERT posted a statement on its website.
‘Racist comments have no place on public television,’ ERT said in the statement.
‘The collaboration between ERT and Dimosthenis Karmiris was terminated today, immediately after the morning show.’
Jeoung beat Gionis 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-6, 14-12.