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Millions tuned in Monday as Ghana’s Black Stars took on Team USA during the their first match of the 2014 World Cup. Fans from both countries were awaiting the highly anticipated contest, which was a rematch of their 2010 meeting. During the last World Cup, Ghana knocked the USA out of the tournament, but this time around the Stars and Stripes got their revenge.

Team USA started with a bang, as Clint Dempsey scored just seconds after kickoff. Twitter immediately lit up with folks clamoring over Dempsey’s quick goal. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres even got in on the action, but ended up highlighting her ignorance about Ghana.

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While it’s unclear if DeGeneres was just looking for laughs or if she actually doesn’t know where Ghana is remains to be seen, many weren’t feeling her joke.

Unfortunately, Degeneres’ gaff wasn’t the only high-profile piece of Twitter ignorance after the game.

Hoping to capitalize on the energy surrounding Team USA’s first game of the tourney, Delta Airlines tweeted their congrats to the winning team with a peculiar picture depicting “iconic images” for each country.

While Delta Air picked the Statue of Liberty to represent the U.S., the company chose a giraffe for Ghana, because….Africa?


Here’s the thing. Although Ghana is on the continent of Africa, there are no giraffes in the country (FYI: there are no zebras either, in case Delta has more ideas). And though Ghana has its fair share of wildlife, mostly elephants and hippos, it seems like Delta should have picked a comparable image to the Statue of Liberty or just used each country’s flag.

Delta has since deleted the tweet, but far too often Africa is the butt of unfortunate jokes and ignorance by people—and companies—who should know better.

Thankfully, Twitter users are swift to hold folks accountable for their foolery, but it’s sad that despite the progress, despite the access to information, and despite diverse accounts of the continent of Africa, people continue to get it so wrong.


UPDATE: Ellen DeGeneres has deleted the questionable tweet, but hasn’t issued an apology. 

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  • Faustina Arkhurst

    No wonder Ellen is who she is and as for Delta! No comment

  • flailin

    You all may not like the joke or think it’s a rather ignorant one, but the fact remains you know it’s a joke. The other glaring fact is that people love to anonymously claim they know more about the world than they in fact do. I’ve seen this in my travels, people blowing in for a short visit where they refuse to mix with locals and then crow about it back at the hostel during “theme night”. Isn’t there more to life than being an uptight “tweet monitor”. Do you all want that put on your headstones? Haha!

  • Kobekko

    Given Ellen’s self-deprecating sense of humor, I saw her comment as her making fun of her ignorance (or referencing the ignorance of American’s in general) rather than her dismissing Ghana in any way.

  • Annisa Arthur

    I live in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. The only reasons some people know about my twin-island republic are our world-renowned Carnival celebrations and Nicki Minaj. Yet still, ask them to point it out on a world or Caribbean map and they can’t. I don’t think Ellen meant to be mean but her tweet does imply that Ghana was a non-entity to her and that is why America (superpower, world police, Mount Olympus of athleticism) was able to score so quickly and eventually beat Ghana. I wonder if she remembered that Ghana shut America down and put them out of World Cup in 2010 though?