Light-hearted TikTok videos of Paralympians falling and getting ‘bopped’ on the head are slammed as offensive and ‘evil’ – but the athletes themselves don’t see what the problem is
- TikTok videos of Paralympians deemed offensive
- Slapstick clips include athletes falling over
- Paralympians in clips think they are funny
The official Paralympic Games TikTok account is causing controversy, with some sports fans slamming it for ‘mocking’ disabled athletes – but many of the competitors featured don’t see what the big deal is.
The account, which has over 3.4million followers, has taken a comedic approach to a lot of its content.
Instead of showing more typical footage of athletes training and competing, the Paralympics videos show them falling over and having accidents – often accompanied by pop songs.
In one viral clip called ‘blind swimmers getting bopped’ vision-impaired swimmers can be seen getting touched gently on the head while competing as audio of the game ‘Bop It!’ plays.
The hugely popular videos have sparked a strong reaction with viewers, with many calling them ‘evil’ and ‘disgusting’ for making fun of the athletes.
Instead of showing more typical footage of athletes training and competing, the Paralympics videos show athletes falling over and having accidents – often accompanied by pop songs
However, others appreciate the light-hearted approach from the account – including some of the Paralympians featured.
Australian wheelchair rugby player Ryley Batt who can be seen in some of the clips crashing out of his chair certainly doesn’t have a problem with the account.
‘I saw a few of them and – I can only comment on what I’ve seen – I think it’s very creative and something I’ve been more than happy to share on my social media about myself, and I’m in a few videos,’ he told news.com.au.
‘I understand there’s a fine line, but I think it’s been great for showcasing Paralympics. And you can take it either way (good or bad), but from my perspective, it’s funny.
‘Most people with disabilities have a really good sense of humour.
‘You’ve got to. Obviously, a lot of us had tougher upbringings. Having disabilities since school or birth, you’re brought up with a thick skin.
‘Yes, some may think it’s taking the mickey, but I think it shows they’re comfortable about having that disability and not nervous about saying the wrong thing or offending anyone.’
Aussie Paralympian swimmer Ellie Cole said she thought the content was funny.
Australian wheelchair rugby player Ryley Batt, who can be seen in some of the clips crashing out of his chair, certainly doesn’t have a problem with the account
The International Paralympic Committee recently revealed that the controversial account is operated by ‘a Paralympian who fully understands disability’
‘I was looking at a few of the videos this morning and I was having a bit of a chuckle and actually trying to pick which ones that people were being offended over, because I couldn’t really see anything offensive,’ she told The Project.
The International Paralympic Committee recently revealed that the controversial account is operated by ‘a Paralympian who fully understands disability’ who has ‘created a strong following through edgy and unique content’.
‘We have created a strong following through edgy and unique content that allows us to educate an audience who might be less aware of Paralympic sport and the achievements of our athletes,’ a committee spokesman said in a recent statement, according to NBC news.
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