Last week, a man went on a racist rant on a South African beach, immediately sparking outrage on social media.
The man in question is reportedly named Adam Catzavelos. Catzavelos used a racial slur known as “the K-word” in a video which has since been uploaded to Twitter.
The incident has prompted a conversation on racism and its repercussions.
Racism Alert] we are looking for this white boy. Anyone who knows him, his name and where he is based, please DM me… pic.twitter.com/qqe6AngDyY
— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) August 21, 2018
Since the video went viral, the hashtag #AdamCatzavelo has started trending. Twitter users have begun to share his information, which includes details about his wife. According to South African media reports, his wife Kelly works as a merchandising director for Nike.
He has deleted his social media pages so he knows what he said was foul. Watch the apology and how he employs black people warra warra warra !!! His name is Adam Catzavelos!!!! From St George’s Fine Food. pic.twitter.com/fKB83ZlaUZ
— Anele Mdoda (@Anele) August 21, 2018
On the #AdamCatzavelos issue:
We have the power. Boycott the companies that support his business, write to his kids’ school for suspension, his gym for cancellation, his bank where his house is financed. We have to move the action from our thumbs on Twitter to the real world.
— Vusi Thembekwayo (@VusiThembekwayo) August 22, 2018
Good that Black people are going to Boycott every business linked to Racist #AdamCatzavelos. Here is a full list. When you go to that Smokehouse in Braam, always remember you are giving money to Adam so he can go insult you on Holiday. pic.twitter.com/e4aIdcxQs6
— Superblack (@hostilenativ) August 22, 2018
Following calls to boycott companies which are associated with Catzavelos, Nike has decided to distance itself from the South African man and his family.
In a short statement, Nike said that Adam Catzavelos is not an employee of the company. The statement read:
“Nike opposes discrimination and has a long-standing commitment to diversity‚ inclusion and respect. We believe in the power of human potential in everyone – of every race‚ religion‚ nationality‚ gender and sexual orientation.
We can also confirm that Adam Catzavelos is not a Nike employee”
Many other companies have denied having any relationship with Catzavelos.
Catzavelos once participated in an accelerator program at a bank called Nedbank. Nedbank recently condemned Catzavelos’ racism on Twitter. In the same post, the company stated clearly that Catzavelos is not one of its employees.
Nedbank and 702 strongly condemn all forms of racism. Adam Catzavelos is not a Nedbank employee. He took part in a Business Accelerator Programme in 2014. He, along with 360 other entrepreneurs, was profiled on the programme hosted on 702 and sponsored by Nedbank over 6-years.
— Nedbank (@Nedbank) August 21, 2018
The Baron Group has stopped doing business with Catzavelos’ family’s company, St. George’s Fine Foods.
We are aware of the #AdamCatzavelos video. The Baron Group have a zero-tolerance policy on racism and will be serving our steaks without basting while we find another supplier.
The Baron Group pic.twitter.com/i43RoQWMXF
— The Baron Fourways (@Baron4ways) August 22, 2018
Although the damage has already been done, Catzavelos apologized on Wednesday.
In a statement, Catzavelos said that he has “shown a complete lack of understanding of what the people in our nation have endured.” He also said that he will spend the rest of his life repenting for his “total lack of respect and judgment.”
He continued, stating that “it is important for people not to think this is what other people in South Africa think.” He added that he has offended those who want harmony in South Africa, “a beautiful and diverse country”.
This incident is a reminder of South Africa’s long and painful history of racism. However, the government has started to do more to ensure that offenders will be held accountable. For example, in 2016, a South African woman was fined for calling black people ‘monkeys’ on Facebook. She was ordered by the government to pay $10,000 to charity.
In 2017, a white South African woman named Vicki Momberg became the first person in the country to be jailed for racist speech. She was found guilty in March of verbally abusing a black police officer, and was subsequently sentenced to three years in prison.
Featured Image via BBC.