The Guardian reports:
No one involved in the advert appears to have considered it inappropriate nor contemplated the manner in which it could be interpreted in China and elsewhere. No offence was intended by the advert, but whether the Chinese see it that way is a different matter and it is likely to provoke more criticism at a delicate time for Spanish sport.Oh, the problem of gestures that seem OK in one country but are terribly offensive in another! How are we to keep track of them all?
And don't make that OK gesture in Brazil, by the way.
UPDATE, August 13: The I.O.C. calls the ad "inappropriate."
“If anyone feels offended by it, we totally apologize for it,” the Spanish star Pau Gasol said. “We never meant anything offensive by it.”
Emmanuelle Moreau, a spokeswoman for the International Olympic Committee, said in an e-mail message: “We understand that the Spanish team intended no offense and has apologized. The matter rests there as far as the I.O.C. is concerned.”...
The Spanish Coach, Aito García Reneses, declined to apologize for the picture, which he said he had not seen. He did not appear in the picture. He said the intention was a joke.