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Punishment for Greek Olympian Over the Top?

(AFP)

Is the world just becoming a bunch of super sensitive uptight people that have been conditioned to throw the book at anyone that even steps into a grey area? The Greek Olympic team has decided to boot one of their triple jumpers, Voula Papachristou from the team before she boarded the plane to France.  While a professional athlete here in the U.S. getting into some trouble is hardly the breaking story of the year to most Americans, it did make me wonder why Greece decided to expel this upper echelon athlete from their national team.

Apparently Voula had decided to tweet a racial joke and it was because of this, the Olympic Committee saw it fit to disallow her to participate in the London Olympics stating Papachristou has been “placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement.”

Now, I’m sure most of us wouldn’t be advocating for athletes, celebrities, politicians, or anyone else for that matter to be making derogatory racial comments, jokes, etc…  However, after reading the tweet, I wondered “really?  That’s it??”  Again, I’m not advocating the mindset or behavior, but whatever happened to people being able to tell off color jokes?  I remember growing up and constantly hearing jokes about being this or that nationality. No one batted an eyelash, more often than not they’d just respond with an even worse counter joke. It was almost an art form, the whole point of which was to drop the eventual showstopper to which no comeback would stand a chance.

I don’t think it was appropriate for her to have made the joke, let alone have tweeted it for who knows how many subscribers to her twitter account, but does immediate expulsion really seem to be an appropriate response to her dumb move? She’s not a professional broadcaster, she’s not used to thinking in the same mindset broadcast professionals, experienced celebs and the like are. She’s just a young woman that’s trained very hard to run fast and jump far.  I’m not saying she should have been without a reprimand but it really seems they went a bit overboard on her punishment.  After all, last I checked, U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is still on our team after photographs from a party were published showing him smoking marijuana.  Phelps was actually shown in the media breaking U.S. law and he was only suspended from competition for three months and lost some sponsorship dollars!

So what do you think?  Was it right for Voula Papachristou to have been expelled from the Greek Oylmpic Team or was the disciplinary action taken a little too heavy handed? Leave your comments below.

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