Commonwealth Games

Roland: Monkey jibe not racist

2010-10-09 22:18
Roland Schoeman (File)

New Delhi - South African swimmer Roland Schoeman on Saturday admitted calling a noisy Indian spectator "monkey", but said his remark was not racist in nature.

"It wasn't meant to be a racist remark - in South Africa when someone calls you a monkey they mean hooligan," the Pretoria-born swimmer said after winning the 50m freestyle silver.

After Friday's semi-final at the Dr SP Mukherjee Aquatic Complex, Schoeman had criticised the behaviour of a spectator.

"You know it's an absolute disgrace. There's a guy in the stands just shouting, shouting, shouting. Someone like that needs to be ejected from this place," he said.

"It's unacceptable to be at a professional event like this and have the stand and have people going on like monkeys. That's not acceptable. Someone like that does not deserve to be here."

Schoeman said his remark was not a general comment on the crowd as a whole.

"The comment was aimed at only one individual who was acting like a hooligan," he said.

The incident has prompted the organisers to monitor crowd behaviour at the venues.

"Presenters at sports have been asked to ensure that crowd behaviour is appropriate at their venues and silence is maintained at critical points," Games media operation head Manjushree S. Roy said in a statement.

"Volunteers at the spectators' gallery are also being advised to monitor the spectators' behaviour."

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