Sanja Djurdjevic Wiki – Sanja Djurdjevic Bio
Sanja Djurdjevic is a Serbian volleyball player, who has been suspended for two matches after she was caught on camera stretching her eyelids — a racist gesture used to mock people with Asian heritage — during an international competition between Serbia and Thailand.
Djurdjevic violated the sport’s disciplinary rules on June 1 while competing in the match in Italy, according to a statement given Tuesday from the FIVB Disciplinary Panel Sub-Committee.
In addition to the suspension, the independent body, which is responsible for imposing disciplinary sanctions within FIVB competitions, fined Serbia’s volleyball federation the equivalent of $22,000.
According to the panel, the FIVB will donate the money to a cause dedicated to tackling discriminatory behaviour and/or to fund educational programs on cultural sensitivity.
Her age is unclear.
Sanja Djurdjevic Racist Gesture
During the match against Thailand on June 1, Djurdjevic was caught on camera celebrating a point by making a ‘slant eyed’ gesture, which created a huge backlash on social media after the match.
The player later apologised to the Thai team while the Volleyball Federation of Serbia tweeted: “Was it uncalled for? Yes. Was it a racist gesture? Yes. What we argue is that there was no intention or malice. This young girl didn’t grasp the weight of the gesture.”
Djurdjevic had been banned from playing against Belgium on Tuesday and will also miss the game against Canada on Saturday, according to a statement from the FIVB Disciplinary Panel Sub-Committee, which is the independent body competent to impose disciplinary sanctions within FIVB competitions, posted on www.volleyballworld.com on Tuesday.
The FIVB will donate the fine to a cause dedicated to tackling discriminatory behaviour and/or to fund educational programmes on cultural sensitivity for the global volleyball family, the body added.
A Global Reckoning
Djurdjevic’s actions come as the world reckons with a global spike in anti-Asian racism. From the UK to Australia, reports of anti-East and anti-Southeast Asian hate crimes have increased in Western countries as the pandemic took hold over the last year.
Athletes continue to speak out about violence towards Asian people, highlighting the role that social media plays in illuminating these incidents. Earlier this year, former NBA star Jeremy Lin encouraged spectators to “watch these videos to see this is actually happening.”
The FIVB confirmed that Djurdjevic’s sanction is “final,” adding that they are “committed to fostering understanding, solidarity and unity against all forms of discriminatory behaviour.”
“The FIVB will continue to work tirelessly with all of its National Federations to ensure that these values are reflected across the whole community,” they added.