A top Australian sports pundit has suspended his Twitter account over the outrage he sparked by calling Ireland a joke for not teaming up with Britain for the Olympics.
Commentator Russell Barwick provoked an incredulous reaction when he compared Ireland not flying the flag for Britain to Tasmanian athletes not performing for Australia.
The ESPN star went on to say Irish athletes going for gold for their country was similar to a Hawaiian surfer claiming he was not from the US.
“It’s a whole Irish joke, the whole thing. It just makes no sense.
“We the rest of the world can’t understand. It’s like a Hawaiian surfer not claiming that he surfs for the USA.
“It’s not like Tasmanians say they don’t want to represent Australia. You’re all part of the one mix master.”
The TV star seemed unaware that Ireland was a separate country to Great Britain. He said Ireland managed to forget about its national identity when it came to the British Lions during his extraordinary two-minute TV rant.
His comments caused a storm of outrage on Twitter prompting the controversial commentator to apologise yesterday on the social networking site.
“Ok a million apologies to those I offended….. My initial question was Why does Ireland compete together in rugby but not at Olympics? I found out myself and sorry again for offence as none was intended … God I hope Katie Taylor wins!!”
However, the commentator got such a stream of objections from Irish people that he blocked his Twitter account last night.
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