Several Belgian media outlets have quoted an internal email from VRT Director Frederic Delaplace. It stipulates that the penalty will be increased in the absence of any comment. This is due to the many criticisms leveled at the broadcaster’s “poor response”. Prominent athletes and politicians, among others, felt that was not strict enough for Damarez.
“In public broadcasting, there is no room for discrimination, hatred and slander about the way people live,” De Morgen quoted broadcasting director Delaplace’s email as saying. “We’ll see in the coming weeks if and how he can resume work.”
During a live broadcast on Facebook, the Sporza host joked with other commentators about the trends of basketball players, nicknamed The Belgian Cats. Spurza followed the athletes as they arrived. While no longer in the picture, commenters described some of the players as “a man” and a “giant”. They were also joking about the names of the athletes.
Damaris expressed regret in a press release on Saturday. “In the euphoria that followed honoring the returning medalists, I made remarks in a private conversation away from the studio that seriously overstepped the bounds. I never intended to offend anyone based on gender or orientation. So I would like to sincerely apologize to the Belgian Cats, their team, and anyone who feels offended or handling or neglect because of this.”
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