‘She didn’t mean it’ – Serbian volleyball player’s racist gesture explained
Images of a Serbian volleyball player making a racist gesture against Thai players went viral on Tuesday, triggering a stream of angry comments from most netizens.
However, Thai volleyball star Pleumjit Thinkaow came to the rescue of player Sanja Djurdjevic, saying she did not mean to insult Asian people.
The incident took place during the Volleyball Women’s Nations League 2021 match in Italy, in which Thailand lost to Serbia 0-3.
“Sanja was very happy that she was able to perform a long rally like Asian people,” Pleumjit said.
The Serbian Volleyball Association has also apologised for Djurdjevic’s “slant-eye” gesture.
Separately, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) slapped the Russian national team’s assistant coach, Sergio Busato, with a three-game ban for a similar gesture during women’s volleyball qualifiers for the 2020 Olympic Games in South Korea.
Colombian footballer Edwin Cardona was similarly punished for making the same gesture during a friendly match against South Korea in November 2017.