Ulster sorry for ‘Ethiopia photo’

Published Friday, 11 July 2014
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Ulster Rugby has apologised over a photograph posted on Twitter which showed two of the team apparently dressed up as Olympians from Ethiopia - with black make-up on their faces and arms.

Ulster sorry for ‘Ethiopia photo’
The photograph was posted on the Twitter account of Ulster's Paddy Jackson. (© Twitter)

Ulster players and Irish internationals Chris Henry and Paddy Jackson are pictured alongside three other men, all wearing Ethiopia's colours and carrying a flag of the African country.

While the picture has since been removed from Twitter, it was recently used as a banner image at the top of Jackson's profile on the social networking site.

In a statement, Ulster Rugby said: "Ulster Rugby would like to apologise unreservedly for any offence caused by a photograph posted on Twitter of some players at an Olympic-themed fancy dress party held two years ago.

"It was not the intention of the players to cause upset and the photograph has since been removed."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
28 Comments
Philip in Belfast wrote (158 days ago):
Mixed feelings. In the end it comes down to context, individual perceptions and historical associations. (1) Context: it was a fancy dress party; you typically dress up like something/one your are not. (2) Perception: there are so many shades of spray tan available on the market today, acknowledging the fact that black, brown and tan are perceived as beautiful. Plus the Ethiopian team is one of the most successful African teams at the Olympics - why would anyone purposely disrespect/misrepresent them? (3) Association: I don't understand the significance of the shackles around the black-faced guy - this i find questionable, as it doesn't fit the Olympic theme. Furthermore, people tend to associate this act of face-blackening with the blackface minstrels and golly-wogs that were certainly symbols of racism, which is probably where most of the anger occurs. This suggests to me that although we are again in hyper-PC mode, there is a need for people to broaden their horizons and understand why different people are affected by things differently, instead of insipidly stating "get over it".
Dromore down in Dromore down wrote (158 days ago):
Its bad when you can't even have a laught, this has went to far. ONCE AGAIN
Ethiopian in America wrote (159 days ago):
Not offensive at all, does skin lightner offend caucasians? Ethiopians have a very strong sense of self, this is not an issue
Sam in U.S.A wrote (159 days ago):
This is a non story. I am an Ethiopian by the way. What is the offence ? An Ethiopian may find you crazy but not offensive. Sam
ken in clabby wrote (160 days ago):
it was done for a laugh they didnt mean anything by it. give over! there's worse people who dress up and nothing said. wise up!!!
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