They did not want to pose with the Ukrainian flag with the phrase “Stop war” and were booed throughout the stadium

It happened in the Zalgiris-Estrella Roja match of the Euroleague. The Serbian team refused to pose with the Ukrainian flag and “Stop War” and are booed by the public.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to generate its effects in the world of sports and this weekend, on the cusp of a basketball game between the Zalgiris and the Red Star by Euroleaguethe attitude of the Serbian team, which did not want to take the flag of the country that suffers the aggression with the message “StopWar”generated the reaction of the public, who in unison booed and whistled at the protagonists, showing their discontent.

Sport was a channel to be able to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people who, since February 24, have suffered attacks by the Russian army, whose government is headed by Vladimir Putin. Several federations that govern different disciplines took measures to sanction Russia, such as preventing athletes from that country from participating in international events. Also figures from different areas showed their rejection of the situation in Ukraine.

In formation on the playing field, the members of Zalgiris, from Lithuania, showed a flag with the colors of Ukraine with the phrase “StopWar” (stop the war), in solidarity with Ukraine for the Russian invasion. His audience applauded the gesture. However, the players of the Serbian team refused to take the flag, which caused the rejection of the public, who booed and whistled at the representatives of the Red Star of Serbia. The most targeted was his former power forward, the American Aaron Whitewho played two seasons between 2017 and 2019. The reaction was heard from the four sectors of the Zalgirio Arena stadium.

The episode spread on social media and went viral. That is why this Monday the Serbian club decided to issue a long statement in which it explained why its players did not take the flag, arguing that it was a decision that its members had already made and reported before the match.

The difference in attitude between the two teams

“Red Star, as a sports club and representative of the Republic of Serbia, which took a clear position on the conflict in Ukraine, follows the official position of our country. In official communication with Euroleague and Zalgiris, it was made clear a few days before the game in Lithuania that politicization will not be allowed and a banner with the colors of any country will not be carried because that would make it a participant in the manipulation and politicization of one of the more humane and universal slogans ‘Stop The War’”, indicates one of its paragraphs.

Zalgiris prevailed 103-98 in a frenetic definition in a very close game, in which the victory could have been for anyone, since it ended even in regular time and forced extra time. The meeting before his people also served as a farewell for one of the emblems of the local team, Paulius Jankunas, who scored 8 points in extra time to give victory to the Lithuanian champions, who reached their eighth win in the league, in which they are last among 15 teams, while Barcelona is above all. While the Red Star marches in the eleventh position. .


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They did not want to pose with the Ukrainian flag with the phrase “Stop war” and were booed throughout the stadium