The Olympic basketball team of Spain posed prior to the games for an advertisement in which they all appear slanting their eyes. The ad appeared in the spanish sports newspaper Marca.
The picture is stirring an uproar, and information has surfaced that the ad was sponsored by a spanish courier company, and that a chinese shoe maker is sponsoring the team.
The paper El Mundo has debated whether the ad was racist, and accuses the british press of trying to smear Spain's good name, but they miss the point. It was a ridiculous idea, and can upset a lot of people. It's baffling that nobody involved in the making of the ad ever came to realise the ad would be looked at negatively. Didn't they come to think of "the internet", which allows pictures to be seen all over the world?
And they are still defending themselves instead of apologizing. The Organization of Chinese-Americans has condemned the picture. Beijing has not responded so far.
Madrid is among the favourite candidates to the 2016 summer games. Could this controversy hurt Spain's chances?
Interestingly, the Spanish basketball won the game against China in overtime.