Nicolette Van Dam Takes FIFA Team Support Too Far: Resigns From UNICEF
Huge sporting events bring out the best and the worst of fans everywhere. The FIFA World Cup comes along once every four years and attracts almost as much attention as the Olympic Games. People paint themselves in their team colors, argue over predictions and post support to their social media sites almost religiously.
There’s no issue with supporting one’s favorite team, the issue arises when someone outright tears down an entire country.
Nicolette Van Dam, a Dutch model and actress, has appeared in several Dutch-based productions as well as Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. As a publicly visible person she’s expected to maintain a certain level of professionalism. However, Van Dam also happens to be one of ten Dutch UNICEF goodwill ambassadors. Professionalism is not enough.
Swept up by FIFA World Cup fever, Nicolette Van Dam posted a disrespectful meme to her twitter page.
The photoshopped image shows Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez, Columbian World Cup player, on their knees behind the white spray referees use to mark the line for defending players opposing a free kick. They look to be attempting to snort the white substance, as though it were cocaine. Van Dam posted “Colombiaans Muurtje,” with the picture, Dutch for “Columbian Wall.”
Immediately, FIFA fans and Columbian residents took to Twitter, condemning Nicolette Van Dam’s disrespect. In one of the posts, it’s pointed out that drug-trafficking and violence have tarnished Colombia’s reputation and living situation for decades. The poster notes that Van Dam’s sense of humor on the subject is repulsive.
— Juan Correa (@juancorrea100) June 18, 2014
.@NicoletteVanDam Colombia is one of the most cultural countries in the world.Apparently you live under a rock.Shame on you!
— Felix (@LeafsPanda) June 19, 2014
Roberto de Bernardi, Colombia’s UNICEF ambassador, told Blu Radio that he supported all efforts to remove Nicolette Van Dam as a UNICEF ambassador.
“We want to repeat once more that UNICEF Colombia forcefully condemns the content of this photo-montage that has been published,” Bernaldi said of the harmful tweet.
Although Nicolette Van Dam deleted the photo and posted a seemingly sincere apology, she was still forced to resign from her position in UNICEF.
Queridos Colombianos, there was no offense intended from my side. Please accept my honest and sincere apologies. #RespectColombia
— Nicolette van Dam (@NicoletteVanDam) June 18, 2014
The backlash from her deleted photo remained damning. Twitter members responded to Van Dam’s apology almost immediate. The majority of the responses were in a negative light, indicated that Van Dam had simply gone too far for Colombia residents to forgive and forget.
@NicoletteVanDam I think the lack of respect with the public image that is too offended too much and that can not be remedied with an apolog
— † Ava Ward † (@val1Dmahonegrey) June 22, 2014
— Rihanna (@Rihanna_Diario) June 19, 2014
@NicoletteVanDam we live in a hurt country due to the drugs and arms.. And your joke wasn’t funny!!
— Sebastian (@sebastian075) June 22, 2014
Nicolette Van Dam’s disrespectful faux pas is a lesson to everyone about how thoughtless social media posts can affect a person’s personal, or professional, life.
[ Image courtesy of Line 17 ]