There was an uproar on Twitter about part of Sporza’s live broadcast The arrival of the Belgium team, including the Belgian Kats women’s basketball team. In this clip you can hear how some people, including sports journalist Eddie Demaris, joke behind the scenes about the leanings of Belgian cats. VRT will speak to Eddy and in the meantime will not comment on the programs. “Such statements cannot be tolerated,” she said in an official response.
Today the Belgian cats have arrived in Belgium again, which was broadcast live on Sporza’s Facebook page. In an unguarded moment – when the cameras kept rolling, but the commentators themselves were no longer in the picture – other subjects emerged. During the conversation you can hear how there is speculation about the trends of the women’s basketball team. Name jokes are made and some women are described as “man” and “giant”.
The video clip is circulating on Twitter, where it sparked a lot of criticism. “He never heard the statements about the Belgian cats backstage, live. Apologies to public Eddie Demarez and the editors are more than appropriate,” it seems.
Many Belgians who are cats have expressed their displeasure on Twitter. “Disrespectful, hurtful and insulting. It’s good to come home this way,” Han writes, tantalizingly. Captain Ann Waters paused: “Absolutely unacceptable! Shocked. Disgusting.”
Max’s Agency, the management office that oversees a number of Belgian cats, is also angry. “As the administrative office of many professional athletes and athletes in basketball and volleyball, we have learned with horror, deep disappointment and undeniable anger at the audio clip in which some of our players who are part of the Belgian Cats were completely misplaced and cheaply insulted and humiliated by the individuals who They are only supposed to comment on their athletic achievements,” Max Agency wrote on Facebook. “By publicly and openly insulting the aforementioned elite athletes on the basis of completely irrelevant criteria, the individuals involved have shamefully detracted from the extraordinary achievements of these Olympic athletes.”
The bureau also finds it “nausea” to determine that damage can still be done in this way today. “And this is at a time when the media is talking about the importance of respecting the mental well-being of athletes more and better.”
“We will continue to denounce and address this matter and expect appropriate responses from the relevant authorities which should go beyond the usual and insignificant initial apologies. On behalf of our athletes, we will make sure that the injustice done to them is acknowledged and that the necessary debate about this does not quickly subside.”
Temporarily no comments
VRT distanced itself from the comments in an official response, and says that Eddie Demarez will not temporarily comment on the live broadcast. Here is the full response:
When broadcasting this afternoon’s Olympic medal award honors via Sporza’s FacebookLive, sports journalist Eddie Demarez made an inappropriate comment about Belgian cats. The video channel remained open and although Eddie was out of the picture, the inappropriate comment was clearly heard. Sporza distanced and VRT themselves about this situation,” it seems. “VRT management is taking this delay very seriously. This is completely against the positive policy that VRT wants to follow. VRT will speak to Eddy and in the meantime will not comment on the programs. Such statements cannot be tolerated.”
In the euphoria that followed honoring the returning medal winners, I made remarks in a private away conversation away from the studio that seriously crossed the line.
Damaris himself also replies: “In the euphoria that followed honoring the returning medal winners, I made statements in private conversation away from the studio that I seriously crossed the line. I never intended to offend anyone on the basis of gender or orientation. It is doubly unfortunate that these statements are a stigma. Shame on the games which have been such a hit for Team Belgium and Spurza.So I would like to sincerely apologize to the Belgian Cats and their team and also to anyone who feels offended, treated or neglected because of this.I have asked the Belgian Cat Company to send them my apologies in person.I will draw the necessary lessons from this and make sure Not to happen again in the future.”
Flemish Information Minister Benjamin Dahl (CD&V) responded on Twitter on Sunday morning: “Anti-gay and homophobic statements don’t belong on social media, in the café, on public broadcaster. Nowhere. Greatest respect for the Belgian cats and for their Olympic performance.”
According to the minister, what happened is unacceptable and Daly is convinced that the VRT has taken immediate action. The minister said through his spokesperson that it is now up to VRT itself to see how the public broadcaster will pursue this internally.
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