Athletes and Twitter have not been a good combination in the past. When you factor in their popularity and high follower rate with how easy it is to shoot out a text without thinking, then what you often get is an easy recipe for disaster.
Up until now, the most trouble anyone has reached from sending out something that sounded good in your head at the time but ended up being a mini-firestorm is a lightening of their wallets. For Greece's triple-jump champion Voula Papachristou, however, a tweet she made has cost her a chance to participate in the Olympics.
On Monday, Papachristou, 23, posted a tweet reading, "with so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitos will be eating food from their own home."
This Tweet, as you can guess, did not go over very well among Greek social media because of it's racist undertones. Also, to put this from the bad to the 'ugh' category, Papachristou took a full two days before she issued any type of apology. Here is a copy of the apology she made on Wednesday concerning the one earlier this week.
"I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.
My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races.
I would like to apologize to all my friends and fellow athletes, who I may have insulted or shamed, the National Team, as well as the people and companies who support my athletic career. Finally, I would like to apologize to my coach and my family."
While this apology made on both Twitter and Facebook is all said in good, it is apparently a case of 'too little, too late' as the Hellenic Olympic Committee has removed Papachristou from their squad for breaking the International Olympic Comittees stance on acceptable social media.
The HOC released on Wednesday an official statement announcing Papchristou would be placed "outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement."
While the initial Tweet was ill-advised and insensitive, it's still a tragedy that this girl has lost the opportunity to live out her dream by attending the Olympics. Hopefully her tragedy will serve as an example to everyone with similar goals that they should think a minute before they send any thoughts out into the world; advice the vast majority of athletes should really get behind.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
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