The World Cup brings forth strong feelings of national pride and competitiveness.
It also brings out the idiots. You know, the sort of people who think an international event of this kind is a perfect stage for their bigotry and general tackiness.
Enter Nicolette van Dam.
The Dutch actress tweeted a photomanip where a referee's white spray paint is re-imagined as a line of cocaine.
In the manip, Colombian players Falcao Garcia and James Rodriguez are on their knees snorting the substance through a straw under a caption that translates to "The Colombian Wall."
The Netherlands and Colombia are in two different groups and aren't due to meet in the immediate future (if at all).
It's clearly a poor attempt at humor that that resulted in an immediate backlash.
— Juan Arango (@JuanG_Arango) June 19, 2014
Ironically, van Dam was a representative for UNICEF, an organization that pushes for equality and human rights. This organization is far more interested in tearing down the negative stereotypes that separate ethnic groups and nations than supporting them.
So it was of little surprise when the Colombian branch of UNICEF protested representation by van Dam based on her behavior.
Though van Dam apologized for her thoughtless tweet, it had since gone viral. Following the controversy, the actress announced that she was resigning as a UNICEF ambassador.
The tweet issued by Nicolette van Dam was inappropriate and highly offensive. We condemn its content http://t.co/VRwuEHvDsa
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) June 19, 2014
It's unfortunate that anyone would make the decision to tweet ugly stereotypes about competing nations, as there are better ways to support your own team. FIFA's "Respect" slogan is meant to support both fair play and respect for all teams and players.
It's amazing that a celebrity would believe that they could tweet something so vicious as a "joke" and not only think that it will not be questioned, but fail to see that negative consequences will most likely follow...and fast!
— Ιman | ايمان (@ImaniAmrani) June 18, 2014
Perhaps others will observe van Dam's terrible behavior and avoid following her example.
Image via YouTube