Fact-checking the rants of Sam Newman on The Footy Show is not normally worth anyone’s time, but this one piqued our interest. Last night, while taking a swing at the Olympics, Newman had a go at the international media for not calling out racism when the Brazilian crowd booed French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie as he came second to Brazilian Thiago Da Silva:

Has it been lost on you that the black Brazilian crowd booed the white French pole vaulter and the international press have not mentioned one thing about racism? It is just bad sportsmanship. Has that been lost on you over are in Australia?”

As a tipster pointed out to Crikey, Brazil’s population is actually more diverse than just “black”. According to the 2010 census, African Brazilians make 50.7% of the population, while 47.7% identify as white. Maybe that’s why the media is calling it bad sportsmanship (here, here and here), but race isn’t coming into it.

Peter Fray

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