Dutch actress Nicolette Van Dam resigned from her position as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador after receiving massively negative public blow-back over re-Tweeting an offensive post aimed at Colombia’s soccer team, Colombian media reported on Thursday.
Following a protest by Colombia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Van Dam resigned from her ambassador role and offered a public apology for re-Tweeting the offensive post, according to Colombia’s W Radio.
“Given the large negative effects on both social networks and the traditional media, with great pain and sorrow, I have decided to resign immediately as ambassador for UNICEF in Holland,” said Van Dam.
“I did re-Tweet a photo without any intention to do harm,” said the actress, adding, “I honestly did not mean to offend any one player, nor make anyone uncomfortable. I offer my deepest apologies.”
The controversial Tweet depicted a photo-shopped image of Colombian World Cup team members Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez on the soccer pitch as if they were snorting the white spray paint that referees use to mark the line for defending players to stand on during the opposing team’s free kick.
“As part of the games, there are many pranks, games, and jokes that are sent through social networks challenging the participating teams. I did re-Tweet a photo without any intention to do harm,” reiterated Van Dam.
According to Colombia’s foreign minister, the controversial Tweet was so offensive because it was perpetrated against two Colombian role models who have abstained from using drugs, given Colombia’s deep history of suffering at the hands of the so-called “war on drugs.”
“Falcao and James Rodriguez are probably those guys who embody today’s youth and dreams. To us, these guys are more than a few leaders that young boys can follow,” said Colombia’s minister of foreign affairs.