02. 06. 2021

VNL W: Serbian federation – “Was it a racist gesture? Yes... We sincerely apologize to all affected“

Source: twitter.com/ossrb; Photo: twitter.com/ossrb

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On Tuesday, the Serbia National Team defeated Thailand in the fifth round of the 2021 FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League in Rimini (Italy), and the match was marked by a situation that attracted a lot of attention on social networks...


Volleyball fans from Asia occupied social media in the last two days, sharing the video from the 2021 Women’s VNL match between Serbia and Thailand in which two of the players of European and world champions made a ’Slant Eye’ gesture, which is considered racist. Serbia’s libero Sanja Djurdjević was under criticism of Asian fans more than her teammate, the setter Ana Jakšić. As an aftermath of the commotion in which even some other players and federations spoke up (such as the US federation on social media) condemning the gesture of Serbia’s duo, the Serbian federation (OSSRB) issued an apologetic note, just as Djurdjević, explaining what really happened in the match vs Thailand.

“Please, don’t blow this out of proportion. Sanja is aware of her mistake and she immediately apologized to the whole Thailand team. She only wanted to show her teammates ’Let's start playing defense like them now’, she didn’t mean any disrespect. Of course, it was unfortunate. Was it uncalled for? Yes. Was it a racist gesture? Yes. What we argue is that there was no intention or malice. This young girl didn’t grasp the weight of the gesture. It’s unacceptable, we agree. But our girls are no racist by any means. We sincerely apologize to all affected,“ posted OSSRB along with the picture and video of Djurdjević and Jakšić hugging with a couple of Thai players – the captain Pleumjit Thinkaow and Nootsara Tomkom – after the game.

Nevertheless, it has to be stressed that this was not the first case of Serbian female players making offensive gestures towards Asian people. A similar situation occurred in 2017, when the Serbia National Team celebrated its qualification to the World Championship, posing in a similar way - with slanted eyes.



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6 Comments about "VNL W: Serbian federation – “Was it a racist gesture? Yes... We sincerely apologize to all affected“"

03.06.2021 | 11:20 |   George Atkinson [unregistered]

This is not first time Sirbian player doing this. They did this as whole player in front of cameras
Sirbia must kick out of tornement and olympics

+5            3-
03.06.2021 | 11:59 |   Tj [unregistered]

Sorry you got CAUGHT.... LAME excuse! You can come up better than that...

+1            1-
03.06.2021 | 18:37 |   VNL 2021 [unregistered]

Re: @George Atkinson At least 2 Belgium women's players also made such racist gestures, while playing a tournament in China. The best thing to do, to make sure they feel the weight of their act, is to ban them for the rest of the tournament.

There was also a male Argentina male spiker, a member of the Shanghai trade team for several years, made this gesture after beating the Chinese national team thus preventing from qualifying for the Olympics. Like rubbing salt into the wound.

+2            0-
05.06.2021 | 00:23 |   Malachy Hawaii [unregistered]

What was this gesture?

+0            0-
15.06.2021 | 18:57 |   Sorin Acela [unregistered]

Re: @Malachy Hawaii - It was a childish gesture where she elongated her eyelids with her finger, but a lot of things are blown out of proportion in these times of 'politically-corectness' stupidity. See how football players are kneeling before the games because BLM make them. Worst things will come.

+2            0-
16.06.2021 | 17:54 |   decoy9123 [unregistered]

Re: @Sorin Acela
What that player did.
We call it 'racism'.

And it's ridiculous for low-gdp savages to be racist against better-off Thais.

Thailand/Gross domestic product
543.5 billion USD (2019)

Serbia/Gross domestic product
51.48 billion USD (2019)

+1            1-
05.06.2021 | 00:24 |   MicroMal [unregistered]


+0            0-
17.06.2021 | 12:13 |   synlerak [unregistered]

@decoy9123 You are the one being racist here by calling a population 'savages' because of wealth differences.

And by applying that logic you should at least consider population sizes. Serbia has a population of around 10 MIL so that makes 7411,84 USD per person, Thailand has 70 MIL inhabitants, so that makes a GDP average of 7806,74 USD per person.

+0            0-

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