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.
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.
@TheEllenShow Typical ignorant American view on the world
— Kyus Targaryen (@iSnatchWigs) June 16, 2014
@TheEllenShow this is not funny, it is disrespectful and ignorant. Your people certainly knew where it was when they were taking slaves.
— michiko malandro. (@femininewash) June 16, 2014
@TheEllenShow wow.. What an ignorant joke to make, why don’t personalities think before they “tweet” … Do yourself a favour and apologise.
@TheEllenShow this is why I hate Americans
— IG: kasmian18 (@lanadelwesty) June 16, 2014
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.