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Three-time Olympic figure skating champion Irina Rodnina is responding after a doctored, racially charged photograph posted to her Twitter account in September went viral among Western users.
On Monday, Rodnina said her Twitter account had been hacked at the time she posted the photograph, which depicts President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama with their mouths full, staring at a banana that has been digitally inserted into the frame.
"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," Rodnina wrote in English on Twitter. "My account was hacked and I should have shown better judgment in my initial response and handling of the event."
That was far different from Rodnina's previously flippant answer to Russian critics, who condemned her for the post in September. "Freedom of speech is freedom! Answer for your own hang-ups!" she responded.
On Saturday, Rodnina's Russian-American daughter Alyona Minkovski wrote on Twitter that her mother was "neither a racist nor a homophobe" but did not deny Rodnina had tweeted the photo, which she called "insensitive." International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams has defended the selection of Rodnina as torchbearer, saying she was chosen for "what she's done in sport," not her politics.
Sensitivity to racial issues is not widespread in Russia, where football fans occasionally toss bananas onto the field when African players are present. But Rodnina, who now lives primarily in Russia and has a seat in parliament as a member of Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, has spent many years living in the United States.
I've been to football (soccer) matches where fans have thrown banana's at African players.....this is what this image captures. I'm not a fan of Obama but this is low!
Yeah sure you have ...NOT
Scratch a Russian and you find a Tartar. Russians don't like the fact that they were the only White Nation to be conquered and ruled by non-whites (Mongols) and the first white nation to lose a modern war to nonwhites (Japan). Get over your racism it won't change a thing in how the West see you and God bless you for ridding the earth of the Nazi scurge who considered you subhuman.
Furthermore,they didn't win the war in Afghanistan.
Shame on any American that excuses Rodnina's post.
I guess most Russians (and about 1/2 of all Americans) do not understand or have never heard of the "Golden Rule". It is a good rule to live by, even if you do not particularly like or approve of someone. People have never been civilized, and we will never be civilized until we can learn to respect each other for our differences, and learn to look for the good within ourselves.
People have the right to say whatever they want...no matter how stupid they sound!
......That's Putin hand!.......with the Banana!...........
"Lord Buddha once taught that effects only come from causes. And right now, the cause (of the problem) is this government."
...and people like yourself.
....I don't understand why all (use2be)middle class America doesn't see whats happened n continues to happen daily .... its sooooo clear that mr o n flock have this hidden (he wont speak openly on it)vendetta against what use to be Christian middle class America, as tho we are/were personally responsible for slavery...hes now making sure 'we' pay for it...every time he opens his mouth!!!!!!!thank you Irina for your first tweet...'we' all know that's what you meant n still do mean, justthat you were 'made' to make this 'false apology'...like everyone else who tweets what they reallymean then take it back on a 'false apology'....we all know whats going on!
And you are as detestable as as your posting. We ALL know what you're about, too.
Oh the Anothny Weiner defense, that proved to be a lie.