Olympic Flame Lighter Offers Insincere Apology For Racist Obama Tweet
Irina Rodnina, a former three-time Olympic figure skating champion who helped light the Olympic torch last weekend in Sochi, has offered a half-hearted apology for her racist tweet last fall about the Obamas. The tweet showed a hand holding a banana in front of a photo of the President and First Lady chewing. It was posted on her account last September and deleted shortly after, but screenshots resurfaced within a matter of hours after it was confirmed she would be participating in the lighting ceremony.
She initially refused to apologize for the tweet last Friday, declaring that “freedom is speech is freedom of speech and you should answer for your own hangups.” But two days later, she offered an apology that came complete with the lamest of excuses. “My account was hacked and I should have shown better judgement in my initial response and handling of the event,” she tweeted. “I respect the Obama family and apologize for not clearly stating earlier that I don’t support the tweeted photo or racism in any form.” The Obamas have not commented on the incident and have no plans to attend Sochi for the Olympics.
The games in Sochi continued to be embroiled in controversy over the country’s anti-homosexuality laws, which made last week’s opening ceremony even more bizarre by featuring Russian pop group T.A.T.u. The female duo first rose to fame a decade ago by pretending to be lesbian lovers and regularly kissing during their performances.