London: Russell Brand has been criticised by Paraolympic athletes for calling the sport as merely having a “novelty value”, at his recent stand-up gig.
The 36-year-old comedian made the demeaning comments earlier last week, during a gig at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington, north London less than 48 hours before International Paralympic Day, to promote the 2012 games, took place in Trafalgar Square.
“I don’t give a f*** about the Olympics. It’s boring Blue Peter sport and a waste of taxpayers’ money,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
“At least the Paralympics have some kind of novelty value or something,” he stated.
According to People magazine, leading Paralympians have slammed the star for his comments, saying that the comments were patronising.
“We’ve worked harder than anyone to get here. We’ve suffered life-threatening illnesses. It’s both patronising and upsetting for Russell Brand to describe us as a novelty,” Natasha Baker, the 21-year-old dressage star said.
Wheelchair athlete David Weir, who won two gold medals – one silver and one bronze at the 2008 Beijing games, said that the comments were offensive.
“Calling the sport a novelty is offensive,” Weir said.
“It’s not like I get up, do one marathon then go to bed for the rest of the year. I train every day – I am no different to Paula Radcliffe.
“Brand obviously hasn’t met any Paralympians. If he did he certainly wouldn’t call any of us a novelty,” he added.