ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

Sponsored By: Two Men and a Truck
cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
88°
Mostly Sunny
H 93° L 76°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    88°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Sunny. H 93° L 76°
  • clear-day Created with Sketch.
    77°
    Morning
    Mostly Sunny. H 93° L 76°
  • clear-day Created with Sketch.
    89°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 93° L 76°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Woman who lit Olympic flame sent racist Obama tweet

The job of lighting the torch at the opening ceremony of the Olympics is one of the highest honors an athlete can receive — which is what makes Sochi’s choice this year so peculiar.

That honor went to former Russian figure skater turned politician Irina Rodnina for tweeting out a photoshopped picture of the Obamas, that was considered racist by many. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Dmitry Rozhkov)  

She deleted the tweet, but that didn’t keep it from resurfacing on social media Friday. (Via Twitter /@Deadspin

Mashable notes the tweet, showing the president and first lady with a superimposed banana, has clear racist undertones.

“In some parts of Europe, including Russia, it's not uncommon for black soccer players to be insulted with fruit and monkey sounds by fans at matches.”

Rodnina never did apologize and at the time blamed the criticism on a conspiracy.

She told The Guardian, "Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, and you should answer for your own hang-ups.”

Given the controversial tweet, it may be hard to imagine why she was tasked with such an high-profile honor, but USA Today's Christine Brennan suggests maybe it was the tweet that got Rodnina the job in the first place. 

"Is it possible that she also was chosen to send a message to Obama, who sent a very big message of his own to Putin in December when it was announced that he was sending three openly gay athletes as part of the official U.S. delegations to the games?"

Interestingly, Rodnina's partner in lighting the flame — Russian hockey great Vladislav Tretiak — also has his share of controversy. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Alexey Chernyadyev)  

Yahoo notes he voted for a law banning some U.S. citizens and prohibiting Americans from adopting Russian children.

When asked about their choice of Rodnina to light the torch, Olympic organizers reportedly stressed her accomplishments as an athlete and said her Twitter account had nothing to do with their selection.

See more at Newsy.com

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Police in Georgia are hoping surveillance video that captured a violent attack will help them find the people responsible. Video shows a restaurant owner and her teenage daughter being beaten by two customers Thursday afternoon in Baxley, Georgia. >> Read more trending news The victims told police the suspects were unhappy with their order. The verbal argument turned violent when one of the suspects began punching the restaurant owner repeatedly. When the victim’s teenage daughter came out of the car to break up the fight, the male suspect punched her in the face. WJCL reported that Baxley police have issued warrants for the suspects, Nathaniel Smith and Latasha Smith. The pair could be charged with aggravated battery and cruelty to children. The suspects drove away from the restaurant in a cream or tan Cadillac Escalade with tag number REU8495. Officials said they headed north on Highway 144. Anyone with any information about the assault is asked to call the Baxley Police Department at 912-367-8305 or the 911 call center at 912-367-8111.
  • Authorities have identified a 10-year-old boy killed on an Alabama beach this week as Tropical Storm Cindy churned toward shore.  Nolan McCabe, of St. Louis, Missouri, was vacationing in Fort Morgan with his family Wednesday morning when Cindy’s storm surge washed a large log on the beach over the boy. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Nolan suffered severe head injuries when the log rolled over his body.  Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Mack estimated that the log was about 14 feet long and weighed several hundred pounds, the Post-Dispatch said.  AL.com reported that Nolan was killed feet away from the front door of the beachfront home in which he and his family were staying.  >> Read more trending news Nolan’s father, Joshua McCabe, told investigators that he was also outside that morning, attending to other children playing on the beach. He ran toward his son when he saw a large wave coming ashore, but was unable to grab Nolan before the log was washed into him.  Efforts by family members, firefighters and emergency medical technicians to resuscitate Nolan were unsuccessful, AL.com reported.  Nolan, an avid cub scout, would have been a fifth-grade student at Wohlwend Elementary in St. Louis in the fall. A statement the Mehlville School District indicated that the boy’s parents and sister were all present when he died.  Nolan was the third elementary student in the school district to die since April, the district’s statement said. One boy was killed in a car crash, and the other was struck by a car while riding his bike.  The parent-teacher organization at Wohlwend Elementary set up a GoFundMe account to help Nolan’s family with the expenses related to his death. 
  • A 9-foot-6 inch sturgeon weighing in at 500 pounds was found pinned Thursday in a radial gate at the Keno Dam in Oregon, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. >> Read more trending news The fish had sustained a head injury at some point and was dead when officials found it. It is believed to have been one of 221 sturgeons moved in 1958 from the Columbia River to Klamath County. At the time, officials were attempting to create fisheries in the area. However, the fish didn’t take, and officials found no evidence that they were able to spawn in their new homes. “It’s thought the female sturgeon was from the original transplant group,” ODFW said in a Facebook post. “Most of those fish would be from 60 to 70 years old now, with the potential to live nearly 100 years.” District fish biologist Bill Tinniswood said the fish, a female sturgeon, had millions of eggs upon her death. Officials believe that the lack of available male sturgeons to spawn with left the eggs to build up. Two anglers have reported seeing sturgeons on the Upper Klamath Lake this year, Tinniswood said.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is asking you to keep an eye out for a missing elderly man, diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.   JSO tells us Waverly Northington Jr., 66, left his home in the 8200 block of Halls Hammock Court on Friday morning, between the hours of 12:00 am and 2:45 am.   Police say they've conducted an extensive search, but haven't been able to find him. We're told Northington doesn't have a vehicle, so he's believed to be on foot.   Northington is described as a black male, 5'9'', 130 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing all white clothing with white shoes.   If you know where he is, or even if you've spotted him somewhere today, you're urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at (904) 630-0500.
  • A military plane went off a runway, slipped and flipped Friday during the Dayton Air Show in Ohio, according to witness reports and law enforcement officials. >> Read more trending news

The Latest News Videos