Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Greek shooting guard drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks, was recently called a slur by a politician from his home country.
Greece's basketball federation was quick to condemn remarks made by a leader of an extreme right Greek political party who likened Antetokounmpo to a "chimpanzee." The federation described the remarks last Thursday as "unacceptable and racist," which found Nikolaos Michaloliakos using the slur in reference to the 18-year-old player during a television interview last Tuesday.
Antetokounmpo was selected 15th in the 60-player NBA draft on June 27. The 6-foot-9 baller was seen celebrating the news at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, crossing himself in the Orthodox Christian fashion, waving a Greek flag and hugging family members.
A son of Nigerian immigrants, Antetokounmpo is a shooting guard who is looking to improve the wing position for the Milwaukee Bucks. Golden Dawn, the party represented by Nikolaos Michaloliakos, has experienced a recent surge in support as Greece endures a sixth year of recession. The party has rounded their horses around a campaign against illegal immigration and the austerity measures imposed under the country's bailout program. The party won 18 seats in the 300-member parliament, and is currently the third-strongest in opinion polls.
Prime Minister Samaras has frequently described Golden Dawn as "neo-Nazis," as leading members have openly expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and denied the Holocaust occurred. Samaras met with Antetokounmpo and his parents, saying he felt "great emotion," and thanked him for his national pride. "I hope you drive them crazy with your slam dunks," he said. "All of Greece is so excited for you."
Props: The Grio