Refugee educator fired for 'monkey' racist insult at Giannis Antetokounmpo

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 25 2020 05:23 AM

ATHENS - A Greek official responsible for educating refugees was fired on Friday for making racist comments about Greek professional basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo, whose parents emigrated from Nigeria to the country.

Konstantinos Kalemis, the coordinator for refugee education in the Malakassa camp north of Athens, called Antetokounmpo a "monkey" on Twitter after the NBA Most Valuable Player denounced racism in Greek society. 

Kalemis later deleted the post but the original comment was unacceptable to Education Minister Niki Kerameus.

"We unequivocally condemn the racist and highly offensive messages of this educator. Such behaviour has no place in our education system," Kerameus tweeted. 

In the documentary, on American website Bleacher Report, Antetokounmpo said: "Greece is a country of whites, where the life of a man of my skin colour can be difficult. You can find yourself in different neighborhoods and face a lot of racism."

Since 2015, Greece has allowed the children of immigrants to apply for Greek citizenship but a recent report found the process was cumbersome and slow.

"While (citizenship) should normally take between six months and a year, the wait for the final decision can be up to four years," said the NGO report.