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UEG 'Banana Awards' for Gymnasts Raise Eyebrows on Social Media

© AFP 2022 / Janek SKARZYNSKI (L to R) Second placed Netherland's Eythora Thordsdottir, winner France's Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos and third placed Russia's Angelina Melnikova pose on the podium of floor exercises competition of the Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Szczecin, Poland on April 14, 2019
(L to R) Second placed Netherland's Eythora Thordsdottir, winner France's Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos and third placed Russia's Angelina Melnikova pose on the podium of floor exercises competition of the Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Szczecin, Poland on April 14, 2019 - Sputnik International
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The European Union of Gymnastics choice of awards for tournament participants has apparently become a cause of concern for some social media users who wondered whether it might be interpreted as a racist gesture.

The 2019 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships took on a peculiar turn when it came to presenting the victors with their hard-earned awards.

When the medalists went to the podium, the European Union of Gymnastics’ (UEG) mascot, Luigi the Monkey, personally awarded them with bananas.

This development, however, apparently did not sit well with a number of netizens who began pondering whether the image of a black athlete – specifically, Melanie de Jesus dos Santos who won gold — being given a banana might contain some kind of racist subtext.

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