Elias Panagiotaros, Golden Dawn’s main media person, once again divides public opinion, this time by openly stating that Sofocles Schortsanitis, a bi-racial basketball player and former member of the Greek national team, is not Greek.
Sofocles Schortsanitis, who was born to a Greek father and Cameroonian mother, played for the Greek national team when they captured silver medal honors in the 2006 FIBA World Championship and bronze in the 2009 EuroBasket. Moreover, being an all-Euroleague First Team selection in 2011, Schortsanitis made it to the Euroleague Final twice in 2010 and 2011, while playing for Olympiakos and Maccabi Tel Aviv respectively.
However, the popular athlete's resume has not impressed Elias Panagiotaros, who, while giving an interview to Extra 1 channel, expressed his doubts about the Hellenicity of the basketball player. A major part of the controversial interview has been translated from Greek and is given below:
J: If a 'colored' Greek asked to become a member of your party, would you accept them or not?
Ε. P: What do you mean when you say 'colored' ? Suntanned?
J: I am referring to a black person. An Orthodox Christian, who is a Greek citizen with a Greek identification card. Schortsanitis.
Ε. P: We don’t think that Schortsanitis is Greek, according to the ideals of the Greek race. He is not Greek. Both of his parents should be Greek and belong to the European race. This is our belief. If you think Schortsanitis is Greek, take him to your party.
J: Are you racists or do you just fight illegal immigrants?
Ε. P: Believing that races are distinct is not a bad thing.
J: Forgive me, but this is the doctrine of the Aryan race.
Ε. P: For God’s sake. What do you want us to be? We shouldn’t confuse pekingese dogs with labradors. God made them like this and they should remain as they are. Being black, yellow or red is their honor but we don’t regard them as Greeks. They are not Greeks.
J: What exactly are you after? The illegal ones or every immigrant?
Ε. P: We are not after anyone. We defend Greeks. And, basically, only illegal immigrants exist in Greece. There are no legal immigrants in Greece. It is a big lie.