The Nebbia Žilina company, which sells fitness clothing, published a picture on its Facebook site on February 3 which depicts a black male model. The discussion under the photo however was soon full of hateful comments.
The man in the picture, Dennis Johansen, is a successful athlete the company’s representatives later explained on the Facebook site. He has been a member of the team for a long time, they added, as reported by the Denník N daily.
“I feel very ashamed of having to respond to the racist comments about the picture and the athlete from our team, which appeared on one of our Facebook sites,” Martin Pecko, CEO of Nebbia, later wrote in a blog post.
Johansen is European, has a university education, a good figure and also a Caucasian wife, Pecko added.
“His fantastic figure and sporting achievements were the reason why he chose him to become part of our team,” Pecko wrote, adding this happened more than a year ago.
He stressed that the racist statements have disappointed everybody in the company.
“There was however one that pleased us,” Pecko continued. “There was one racist who claimed he will not wear our clothes anymore. We are happy because we don’t have to feel ashamed because of him.”
The company also rejected claims that they chose him for the ad following a January discussion in the Czech Republic, where some people criticised the leaflet of the retail chain Lidl which also depicted a black model.
Nebbia has been publishing pictures with Johansen on its official website for more than a year. Some of them have also been published on Facebook but no racist comments have appeared below them, Denník N wrote.