It seems like people should learn that social media is a public forum, or maybe people should learn to not be ignorant and offensive. But alas in the heat of the World Cup tournament in Brazil, a football fan has gone over the line and literally enraged an entire nation. Nicolette Van Dam, a UNICEF Ambassador, actress and mother from the Netherlands has become the subject of outrage due to a recent tweet sent out to her 259,000 followers today, ahead of the Colombia and Ivory Coast match. Instead of celebrating Colombia’s 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast, Colombians are crying foul at the offensive tweet of an internet meme depicting Colombian soccer players snorting illicit substances.
Despite serving as an ambassador to an organization that prides itself on policies of equality, community and human rights, Van Dam’s tweet depicted Colombian players Falcao Garcia and James Rodriguez on their knees on the soccer field. The picture also featured a referee who appears to spraying lines down on the grass, however, in this internet meme, the two Colombian players are snorting the spray, which is apparently meant to be cocaine. The meme was accompanied by a caption written in Dutch, which translated to "The Colombian Wall."
Van Dam has deleted her original tweet, since receiving such backlash. Although it seems as though the damage is already down, proving once again that whatever you put online can’t ever really be deleted. Not taking the intended “joke” lightly, UNICEF Colombia took to their twitter account, in an attempt to calm some of those who took offense to the mean-spirited and ignorant meme. UNICEF Colombia tweeted, “Estamos tratando de verificar la autoría del desafortunado tweet de @NicoletteVanDam lo antes posible.” Which translates to, “We are trying to verify the authorship of the unfortunate tweet from @NicoletteVanDam as soon as possible."
However, it seems that Van Dam herself as admitted to be the author of the provocative tweet, taking to twitter again, to issue an apology to Colombians. Van Dam wrote, "Queridos Colombianos, there was no offense intended from my side. Please accept my honest and sincere apologies. #RespectColombia" The “sincere” apology was not enough to make the Internet meme disappear, according to UNICEF Colombia’s twitter Van Dam has resigned as a UNICEF ambassador and regrets the tweet she sent regarding Colombia.
La Señora Vandam renunció de manera inmediata al encargo como embajadora de buena voluntad de UNICEF y lamenta el mensaje que reenvío ayer.
— UNICEF Colombia (@UNICEFColombia) June 19, 2014