Light-hearted TikTok videos of Paralympians falling and being ‘hit’ on the head have been labeled offensive and ‘evil’ – but the athletes themselves don’t see what the problem is
- TikTok videos of Paralympians deemed offensive
- Slapstick clips feature athletes falling over
- Paralympians in clips think they’re funny
The Paralympic Games’ official TikTok account is sparking controversy, with some sports fans decrying it for “mocking” disabled athletes – but many of the named competitors don’t see what the problem is.
The account, which has more than 3.4 million followers, has taken a comedic approach to much of its content.
Instead of showing more typical footage of athletes training and competing, the videos from the Paralympics show them falling and having accidents – often accompanied by pop songs.
A viral video titled ‘blind swimmers getting bitten’ shows visually impaired swimmers being gently touched on the head as they compete as audio from the game ‘Bop It!’ Plays.
The hugely popular videos have provoked a backlash from viewers, with many calling them “bad” and “disgusting” for making fun of the athletes.
Instead of showing more typical images of athletes training and competing, the videos from the Paralympics show athletes falling and having accidents – often accompanied by pop songs
Others, however, appreciate the report’s light-hearted approach, including some of the Paralympians featured.
Australian wheelchair rugby player Ryley Batt, who can be seen crashing out of his chair in some clips, certainly has no problem with the account.
“I’ve seen a few and — I can only comment on what I’ve seen — I think it’s very creative and something I’ve loved sharing about myself on my social media, and I’ve been in a few videos,” he told news.com.au.
“I understand there’s a fine line, but I think it’s been great for the Paralympics presentation. And you can take it either way (good or bad), but from my perspective it’s funny.
“Most people with disabilities have a very good sense of humour.
‘You should. Obviously, many of us have had a tougher upbringing. With a disability since school or birth, you were brought up with a thick skin.
“Yeah, some might think it’s the mickey, but I think it shows they’re comfortable with having that disability and not nervous about saying the wrong thing or offending someone.”
Aussie Paralympic swimmer Ellie Cole said she found the content funny.
Australian wheelchair rugby player Ryley Batt, who crashes out of his chair in some clips, certainly has no problem with the account
The International Paralympic Committee recently revealed that the controversial account is being run by ‘a Paralympic athlete who fully understands disability’
“I was watching some of the videos this morning and I was kind of chuckling and actually trying to pick and choose which people were offended about because I couldn’t really see anything offending,” she told The Project.
The International Paralympic Committee recently revealed that the controversial account is run by “a paralympian who fully understands disability” who has “created a strong following through sharp and unique content.”
“We’ve built a strong following through sharp and unique content that allows us to educate audiences who may be less aware of Paralympic sport and the achievements of our athletes,” a committee spokesman said in a recent statement, according to NBC. News.