Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil gymnasts suspended for 'racist' comments to Angelo Assumpcao

Angelo Assumpcao of Brazil competes during the Gymnastic World Challenge 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil - May 2 2015. Image copyright AP
Image caption Angelo Assumpcao and his team-mates will give evidence to a sports tribunal

Three Brazilian athletes have been suspended after appearing to make racist comments to a black team-mate.

The three men were caught on video making remarks to Angelo Assumpcao, an 18-year-old gymnast.

They were filmed saying a smartphone screen is white when working and black when broken, and that shopping bags are white and bin bags black.

The three men have now been suspended by the country's gymnastics confederation for 30 days.

Fellipe Arakawa, Arthur Nory Mariano and Henrique Flores are now expected to appear before a sports tribunal, where Assumpcao is also likely to give evidence.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Henrique Flores and his team-mates apologised for the comments in a second video

The Brazilian newspaper O Globo, which obtained the video, said it was posted onto a Snapchat account belonging to one of the three gymnasts.

The men then posted a second video apologising for the comments, in which Assumpcao also appeared.

They said the comments were a joke and that the reaction to what they had said had been exaggerated.

In the second video, Assumpcao said: "There are no hard feelings. We are friends."

Educafro, a Brazilian charity working with black youngsters, has lodged a criminal complaint, and asked the athletes to pay for scholarships for 50 poor children as punishment.

On Saturday, Giovanny Harvey, Brazil's minister of racial equality, said: "It's not a joke. This is a crime."

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