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Sir Mo films ‘racial harassment’ by police at Munich airport

29th Mar 2018
Sir Mo films ‘racial harassment’ by police at Munich airport

Elham Asaad Buaras

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah has claimed he was racially harassed by a security guard at Munich Airport on March 6.

Britain’s most decorated track star recorded his exchange with an airport official on an Instagram video in which he described his treatment as “pure harassment”.

The clip was streamed live on Farah’s Instagram account with the caption: “Sad to see racial harassment in this day and age. 2018…!!! #airport #germany”

The 47-second clip shows Farah being led away by the arm by a security official. Farah informs the guard that he is being filmed live but he replies “I don’t care”.

Farah was passing through the German airport as he returned to his training camp in Ethiopia.

The clip begins with Farah describing an unpleasant experience as he passed through security.

Farah says, “You won’t believe what has just happened” and that he complained to the manager to no avail. He adds: “The guys were touching me up like crazy. Pure harassment. Pure, pure harassment.”

A security guard then escorts him away in the direction of the departure gates.

Farah, who won the London Big Half on two days before, was passing through Germany en route to his training camp in Ethiopia when the incident happened.

The guard grabs Farah by his right arm and pushes him in the direction of the departure gates.

Farah says: “You don’t need to push me, I’ll go to the gates. You can’t touch me. Stop pushing me” to which the official replies: “I can touch you. Go to the gate, go to the gate.”

As he turns Farah around with a firm hand on his right arm, the athlete says: “leave me alone” and “you’re on Instagram live.” The guard replies “I don’t care” before walking away.

Farah ends the clip by saying: “The way I was getting treated was ridiculous. You see all that guys? Unbelievable.”

Farah’s social media followers left supportive comments, one wrote: “Sorry Mo. No one deserves that experience! You personally handled that so well. This is one more reason why you’re a role model to so many.”

Another said: “I love the way you handled it like a true champion.”

Some replies questioned whether the incident was a case of “racial harassment.”

One user wrote: “I see harassment Mo, but I don’t see any racial element”. But other users contested that: “Comments here are rather sad. Black people constantly told ‘I didn’t see any racism’. It exists folk (even if you’ve not witnessed). Sad but true. Mo isn’t the kind of chap to fabricate or imagine.”

Another added: “He explained the racial incident happened before he started recording hence why he started recording.”

A spokesperson for Farah said: “Mo felt that the incident was racially motivated and that he was unfairly treated by the airport security staff.”

A Federal Police spokesman said: “The officer was properly carrying out his duty. I cannot see any indication of racial harassment by the Federal Police officer at all.”

Adding: “Security checks at Munich Airport are carried out by a private security company on behalf of the State of Bavaria. It seemed that Sir Mo Farah did not agree with this passenger security check performed on him and blamed this check a racist measure. Obviously, he went very upset.”

“Sir Mo Farah got more and more upset. He continued arguing and blaming security staff and the Federal Police Officer being racists. At that point Sir Mo Farah started filming the security check area [which] is not allowed. The officer asked him to stop immediately recording.”

This is not the first time Farah has been the victim of alleged racism. At Christmas, he was attacked by racist trolls online after he posted a message of Christmas goodwill for his followers on Instagram.

In September 2016, it was claimed Farah’s wife Tina launched a tirade at an airline worker.

Tania said that Farah was humiliated after the flight attendant singled him out and forced him to go to the back of the queue because she didn’t recognise he had a business class ticket.

“This woman basically humiliated him until people came forward and said: ‘That’s Mo Farah, the Olympic champion’. She was mortified afterwards, but had basically yelled at him like he was a piece of s*** to get back into line,” explained Tania.

Adding, “He was the only black person [in the queue] and hadn’t done anything to warrant it. I just knew she had a problem with him.”

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