A French Pole-Vaulter Got Booed, Cried, And Compared Himself To A Black Athlete Competing In Nazi Germany
“It's the first time that everybody is against me. Is not against only me, is against all of the pole vaulters except the Brazilian guy. There is no respect. There is no fair play. It's the Olympics. So if we have no respect in the Olympics, where can we get respect? I'm very, very sad and very disappointed."
“It was just Brazilian fans and it's very unbelievable to be in the Olympics and everybody's against you because you're not from Brazil. I understand that everybody is for Brazil, which is normal … but to show no respect to the other athletes is a shame and I'm very disappointed about that.'"
“In 1936, the crowd was against Jesse Owens. We've not see this since. We have to deal with it.”
You know what's funny about this? His own people should be ones that are most upset by it. Talk about a bad look for France. They send a pole-vaulter to the Olympics to represent their country properly and he responds to a couple of boos by balling his eyes out and reinforcing every French stereotype known to man. Christ on the cross, Renaud. Everyone already thinks your nation is soft and you can't wait until you get off podium with a silver medal around your neck before your waterworks reaffirm their generalizations? All because you don't know what it's like to compete in front of an away crowd? And just when I think your tears are an insanely melodramatic overreaction, you try to compare yourself to an African American competing in a country that viewed everyone that wasn't whiter than white as sub-human to make your point?
Never mind the fact that Jesse Owens couldn't leave his train without Nazi Germans cutting at his clothing with scissors. The hardships he faced as a black man in his OWN country in 1936 were worse than a single nightmare Renaud Levillenie has ever had. So a couple of loyal Brazilian hecklers felt it necessary to build their Gold medalist up by tearing down a weak-minded second place finisher from an opposing country, big fucking deal. Hell, Jesse Owens died in 1980 and the discrimination he dealt with on his own soil at the time was STILL worse than what some overly sensitive athlete had to listen to after successfully competing internationally.
I mean, boos? We are talking about boos here, right? He wasn't pelted with croissants? No one Nancy Kerrigan'd him with a loaf of French bread? They just loudly jeered at him? After an athletic competition they were happy he lost? For fuck's sake dude. At the risk of sounding like a hard ass, stop being such a little bitch.