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

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Luka Doncic had been dominating for most of the night, yelling in celebration and flexing his arms in Stephen Curry’s house.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

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.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission, TNH’s New Travel Documentary Series with Clelia Charissis

Every weekend, TNH and Clelia Charissis are on a mission, traveling around Greece and the world to highlight places through the people we meet along the way.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

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