• Greek TV Olympics commentator Dimosthenis Karmiris was fired on Monday for making a racist remark on-air.
  • Karmiris said South Korean table tennis players’ eyes are “so narrow” he “can’t understand how they can see the ball moving back and forth.”
  • Greek TV station ERT said in a statement released the same day that it fired Karmiris.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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

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

Karmiris was providing on-air commentary on July 27 after South Korean table tennis player Jeong Young-sik beat Greek player Panagiotis Gionis.

Jeong, who is the world-ranked no. 5, edged out Gionis, who is ranked 17 internationally, four sets to three. 

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

“Racist comments have no place on public television,” ERT said in a statement posted on their website. “The collaboration between ERT and Dimosthenis Karmiris was terminated today, immediately after the morning show.”

A spate of racist incidents linked to the Olympics has surfaced over the last three days. 

On July 27, the World Archery Federation posted a tweet to celebrate South Korea’s Olympic team. However, in its post, the Federation used a kind of typeface called “chop-suey font.” The typeface, which imitates the brushstrokes often used in calligraphy, is linked to racist stereotypes of Asian people.

A spokesperson for the World Archery Federation claimed that the use of the font was not racist, according to Reuters

In a separate incident on July 28, TV cameras caught German sports director Patrick Moster using racist language to encourage German cyclist Nikias Arndt to catch up with his rivals from Eritrea and Algeria. Per a Metro report, Moster told Ardnt to “get the camel drivers.” 

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

The world governing body for sports cycling Union Cyclist Internationale released a statement about Moster on July 28, saying: “There is no place for racism in sport, and the UCI continues its commitment to eradicating all forms of discrimination from cycling and encouraging diversity and equality.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here