“The parents of the 12-year-old boys’ basketball team are worried because the recently ordered new uniforms have not arrived yet,” wrote an Estonian satire news site Lugejakiri. The article came with a photo of the supposed new uniforms — the notorious white robes of the Ku Klux Klan.
Of course the parents actually hadn’t ordered such clothing. The fictitious story was a reaction to an embarrassing event where a Finnish youth basketball team pulled out from a tournament because their Estonian opponents had used racial slurs against their black and Asian players.
The incident received wide media attention in both countries and sparked a much deeper debate. How to teach tolerance to such young kids? In a country where many of the older generation freely use the N-word and where, until a few years ago, the dictionary expressly said this word was not derogatory, it is not so easy to adopt a tolerant approach.