Latitud ‘pulls a red card against stereotyping’

Is it acceptable to make jokes about Colombian football fans and cocaine? Latitud, the Latin American Student Association of Delft, doesn’t think so and gives broadcasting network NOS a red card.

A clear message that Latitud doesn't like stereotyping. (Picture: Latitud)

During the broadcast of the football match between Colombia and Poland, there was a conversation in TV Studio Rusland between football critic Hugo Borst, NOS sports anchorman Henry Schut, and the Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb.

Anchorman Schut wondered about the large numbers of Colombians in the stadium because tickets are pretty expensive and Colombians are not that rich. Aboutaleb replied that fans must have been saving money for years. Borst said that “Pablo Escobar has buried cocaine everywhere and Colombians probably have small bags of cocaine in their backyard.” To which Aboutaleb replied that “in Rotterdam, we know a lot about that Colombian stuff, but tonight I am not allowed to say anything about that.”

A video of the conversation went viral and Colombians responded furiously. The Latin American Student Association of Delft, Latitud, posted a symbolic comment on its Facebook page: a referee giving NOS a red card. Many people on this Facebook website agree.


Latitud considers the conversation disparaging and offensive. “We have had this issue all year: first with the Escobar, and now this,” the president of Latitud, Mateo Martinez Dominguez, said. “People are creating a stereotype and we really do not like it.”

Hugo Borst is surprised by the controversy. On RTL Nieuws he says that it was clearly a joke and that he also makes fun of himself. According to Martinez Dominguez, a joke can still be offensive. “It is not an excuse. This has hurt a lot of people. It is a bad joke about a really bad situation.”

News editor Connie van Uffelen

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