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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » THE JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM ACCEPTS APOLOGY FROM MEN, WHO “BLACKED UP” AS COOL RUNNINGS CHARACTERS AT A CARNIVAL!

THE JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM ACCEPTS APOLOGY FROM MEN, WHO “BLACKED UP” AS COOL RUNNINGS CHARACTERS AT A CARNIVAL!

The Jamaican Bobsled team says the group of men who ‘blacked up’ at a carnival dressed as characters from the film Cool Runnings ‘meant no malice’.

The team have waded into the row after a carnival float was accused of being racist.

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They wore black body paint and Lycra suits to dress up as the characters for the parade at Aberaeron Carnival on Monday, Wales Online reports.

It was one of around 20 floats and the men wore dreadlock wigs and rasta hats and waved Jamaican flags as their bobsled-float was carried on a JCB.

But the men – who used a bobsleigh made of wood – sparked a police probe after complaints were made to officers about their outfits.

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A post on what appears to be the Jamaican Bobsled Team’s Facebook page claims that an apology has been made by the group of men for potentially causing offence.

The post says that the team has accepted an apology and that they believed “no malice” was intended.

Devon Harris, the Secretary General of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation and one of the founding members of the Team which inspired the film Cool Runnings, said this was not the first time such an incident had occurred.

Giving what he said was his personal opinion, Harris said: “This has happened a number of times. I’m not naive. There’s racism.

“There’s lots of mean and bigoted people all over the world.

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“This particular incident in Wales I think it’s a reach too far, but that’s only my opinion. I know that lots of people are going to not be happy with my opinion.

“I think we have to be wise enough to determine whether this particular incident was meant or done with bigotry and hatred in mind.

“I don’t believe (it was) on the face of it.

“This kind of thing happens every year somewhere.”

When asked if it had been blown out of proportion, he said: “It’s possible. Race relations and racism, it’s a very emotional topic.

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“I’m trying to take a dispassionate approach.

“Those guys dressing up as the Jamaican Bobsleigh Team, painting their faces black – was that meant to display hatred and bigotry? I guess you have a right to be upset if your answer is ‘yes’. My perception is the answer is ‘no’.”

A statement left on what appears to be the team’s Facebook page, claims that the group has apologized to the team and made a donation.

It says: “Members from the ‘Cool Runnings’ inspired float reached out to us today, to offer their apology and insensitivity, of wearing ‘black face’.

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“We like to take these opportunities to educate, rather than vilify. We believe there was no malice intended. We also thank them for their generous donation, in support of our team.”

It also said that the team thought the choice of outfit would have been fine if the group hadn’t chosen to black their faces.

It said: “We love and accept every skin tone. We are one.”

But Dinah Mulholland – who stood for Labor at this year’s General Election – said the group’s fancy dress choice was “unacceptable”.

She said: “Utterly horrified to see this from Aberaeron Carnival today. How could this have been considered acceptable, or even legal, by the Carnival organizers?

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