During a match between Thailand and Serbia for the Volleyball Women’s Nations League 2021 in Rimini, Italy, Serbian player Sanja Djurdevic was talking to her teammate when she pulled an incredibly racist gesture on the court.
The Volleyball Federation of Serbia has since apologized to the Thailand volleyball team, via Yahoo.
In the statement, the federation said Djurdevic “immediately apologized to the whole Thailand team.”
“She only wanted to show her teammates ‘let’s start playing defense like them now,’” the statement said, adding “she didn’t mean any disrespect.”
The Volleyball Federation of Serbia asked the public not to “blow this out of proportion,” describing the incident as “unfortunate” and “a simple misunderstanding.”
Pleumjit Thinkaow, who was reportedly the target of the gesture during the match, posted a video on Instagram accepting the Serbian player’s apology.
“Everyone. [Djurdevic] walked to our room. She said she was so stressed. She said she didn’t have the intention [to offend us]. Please forgive her,” Pleumjit wrote.
Djurdjevic apoligized in a now-private Instagram post.
“I am aware of my mistake and I immediately after the match apologized to the whole Thailand team,” she wrote, per Vice. “I only wanted to address my teammates with the message: ‘now, we will start playing defense like them’, I didn’t mean to disrespect anyone.”
Serbia won the match with a 0-3 score.