Leo Varadkar says there is no place for racism in sport amid controversy over a young black gymnast who failed to win a medal at the awards ceremony, reports Breaking News.
Footage of the incident, which took place at a gymnastics event in Dublin, went viral last week.
A young gymnast is lined up with other children waiting to be awarded their medals for participating in a Gymstart event.
However, the officer moving through the line of medallions does not hand them to the young black girl.
Mr Varadkar described the clip as “very sad”.
The incident took place in March 2022, but it was only reported to the public in recent days.
Four-time US Olympic champion Simone Biles is among those who have expressed support for the 11-year-old girl, saying the clip “broke my heart.”
On Friday ,Mr Varadkar was asked about the controversy while speaking to reporters in Co Kildare.
“I saw that video, I only saw it myself in the last week or two, and it was very sad,” he said, reports Breaking News.
“And I was very sorry to see it and I know Minister (Thomas) Byrne, the Minister for Sport, has reached out to the family and has tried to contact them. You know, there’s no place for any form of racism or discrimination or sexism in sport, and I think it is a real shame that it took Gymnastics Ireland so long to deal with it, but I’m glad that they finally have,” Mr Varadkar added, reports Breaking News.
The mother of the girl stated that her child’s self-assurance had been negatively affected by the incident.
“Do you know when something happens, and you think, and you just rewind, and you say, ‘Did that just happen?’ It was horrendous,” she told RTÉ, reports Breaking News.
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