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Cycling race organisers remove homophobic Van Aert cartoon

By AFP

January 24, 2024 07:07 PM


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Organisers of the Flemish Ardennes cycling race E3 Harelbeke removed a homophobic cartoon depicting Belgian star Wout van Aert from its website but insisted they "meant no offence to anyone".

The cartoon showed Belgium's top cyclist Van Aert, who won the E3 in 2023, on his handlebars on a bicycle missing its saddle.

Van Aert accidentally knocked the saddle off his bike in a cyclo-cross race in Spain last week, but finished the race perched on his peddles.

The caption of the cartoon said: "The LGBT community will be very enthusiastic."

The caption also alluded to cycling's world champion's rainbow jersey which is unrelated to the rainbow colours championed by the LBGT+ community.

"We would like to apologise for the cartoon we launched yesterday," the organisers posted on X, formerly Twitter.

"We certainly didn't want to offend anyone here. We misjudged the cartoon. We will certainly discuss this internally."

The race is one of the biggest on the Belgian cycling calendar and takes place on March 23. The offending cartoon was posted in Flemish.


AFP


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