By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Adonis Georgiadis, a controversial figure of Greek politics, who is also the vice-president of “New Democracy”, the main opposition party in Greece, appeared on a TV show of a local station, mispronounced the name of Giannis Antetokounmpo and also claimed – by mistake as he explained later – that Giannis was born in Nigeria, but he got the Greek nationality.
Of course, Giannis Antetokounmpo was born and raised in Athens, Greece, by Nigerian immigrants, but the fact that a high ranking politician of the party which can win the upcoming elections was presented to be that uninformed about Giannis, created a public outrage.
The Greek Players Union issued a press release on the matter.
According to the text which is entitled ironically “Half knowledge is worse than ignorance” since Georgiadis is a self-proclaimed scholar: “The quotes of mister Adonis Georgiadis about Giannis Antetokounmpo surprised the Greek Union of Basketball players. We want to assure you that Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is an icon for millions of kids and advertises our country abroad, was born and raised in Greece. We want to believe that the quotes of mister Adonis Georgiadis were a product of ignorance and were not made in order to gain publicity. Our Union is proud of Giannis and for every Greek basketball player and athletes in general. Sports are uniting us and stand above everything else. Sports are making Greece proud. What about the politics?”
In the past few days, Giannis and his brother Thanasis who was a victim of a racial slur were publicly supported by the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras. Since the day that Giannis got the Greek citizenship, just a few days prior to his draft selection, a political debate about citizenship and nationality of children born in Greece by immigrants remains ongoing, even if according to the Greek law 3838, second-generation children of immigrants who are born in Greece and attended Greek schools are automatically gain nationality and citizenship.