An Italian wheelchair fencer is catching heat for posting an Instagram picture of him performing the racist “slant-eye” gesture.
— Grace Lynn Kung (@gracelynnkung) December 14, 2018
Emanuele Lambertini, who competed at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, posted the now-deleted photo this Friday while in Kyoto, Japan for the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup.
He captioned the image with the following words (translated from Italian):
Here’s how I feel after eating 🍣🍚🍜 for a week…but at least it was worth it!! 🥈in the individual sword after a super race 💪 Now head back to the foil competitions of the next two days💪💪🔝
Instagram commenters were almost universally critical of Lambertini’s post, with most users expressing their anger and shock at his ignorance and racism.
Many sought to bring the matter to the attention of the Olympic and Paralympic Games’ organizers by tagging their official accounts, with many calling for Lambertini’s banning from the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Jimmy O. Yang, actor who played Bernard Tai in “Crazy Rich Asians” and Jian Yang in the T.V. show Silicon Valley, condemned Lambertini’s actions in an instagram post.
View this post on Instagram
This type of overt ignorance is absolutely unacceptable. This was posted today. We need to take a stance against this #Repost @ema_lambertini ・・・ Ecco come mi sento dopo aver mangiato 🍣🍚🍜 per una settimana…ma almeno ne è valsa la pena!! *Translation: Here’s how I feel after eating 🍣🍚🍜 for a week … but at least it was worth it !!
“This type of overt ignorance is absolutely unacceptable. This was posted today. We need to take a stance against this”, Yang wrote.
A small minority stood by his side.
NextShark has reached out to Lambertini and the International Paralympic Committee for comment and will update this post accordingly.