x

SPORTS

In Greece, Rick Pitino Slams Fans For Smoking At Games

ATHENS, Greece — Panathinaikos coach Rick Pitino has criticized fans of the Greek club for smoking and lighting flares during games, saying they are showing a lack of respect for the players.

“It’s extremely self-centered and selfish of people,” Pitino said late Wednesday after Panathinaikos beat Peristeri 91-68 in the Greek league semifinals. He described the atmosphere at the game as “awful.”

“I smoke cigars on a golf course but there’s nobody else around. But you’re in an arena and 10,000 are smoking and the players are choking. So, sooner or later, you’ve got to say: ‘Hey man, we’re at an athletic event and I’m going to discipline myself and we’ll wait until halftime. And I’m going to go out and blow my brains out with cigarettes.’ That’s your option. But not when there are athletes and there are little kids who want to come to the game. … But they don’t care about young people and the athletes who are breathing it in.”

The 66-year-old Pitino took over at Panathinaikos last December after leaving Louisville, and has frequently praised fans for their passionate support of the Athens club. But he has also been frustrated by violence and bad behavior at games.

“I think all this stuff with shooting flares — somebody is going to get burned and somebody is going to get hurt — to me, I think it’s nonsense,” the former Kentucky and Boston Celtics coach said. “I think the fans should pay attention to the team’s players and try to get them to play better.”

Greece and Bulgaria have the highest rates of smoking in the European Union, with the proportion of daily smokers at 27% in both countries, according to the EU statistics agency Eurostat. Greek laws banning smoking in enclosed public places are poorly enforced.

In February, a top EU health official criticized Greece’s deputy health minister for regularly smoking inside the ministry building.

By: Derek Gatopoulos, Associated Press

RELATED

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

2 Germans, a Spaniard and a Senegalese Killed in Building Collapse in Spain’s Mallorca Island

MADRID (AP) — Spain's National Police on Friday gave details on four people killed when a building housing a bar and restaurant club collapsed on the island of Mallorca.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  — The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is once again under the spotlight after a manager failed to consult a collections committee before purchasing a 21-star flag whose description as a rare banner marking Illinois' 1818 admission to the Union is disputed.

BABYLON, NY – Babylon AHEPA Chapter 416 awarded two very well-qualified students Yanni Saridakis and Maria Avlonitis with $1,000 scholarships on May 19.

THRU JUNE 4 NEW YORK – The third iteration of the Carte Blanche project featuring Maria Antelman with the work ‘The Seer (Deep)’ opened on April 19 and runs through June 4, Monday-Friday 9 AM-2:30 PM, at the Consulate General of Greece in New York, 69 East 79th Street in Manhattan.

ATHENS – An Archieratical Divine Liturgy and a memorial service honoring the 50th dark anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus at the Metropolis – the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Athens – marked the beginning of the 4th Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Sunday, May 26.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.