Spain might have high hopes of bringing the Olympic flame back to the Iberian peninsula in 2016, but the country that played host to the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 is sporting a public relations black eye today.
The Spanish Basketball Federation took out a full-page ad in the country's largest sports newspaper, Marca, wishing the men's and women's teams good luck in the Beijing games. The photo accompanying the ad, however — showing all team members making a slant-eyed gesture — raised eyebrows and sparked international outrage.
The heavily favored Spanish team, the reigning world champions, took the court Tuesday against China, and was greeted with typical Chinese polite applause — mixed with a rare sprinkle of boos. Spain went on to win in overtime, 85-75.
The Guardian newspaper reported that no one from the federation felt the ad was inappropriate, and that no offense was intended.