An Air New Zealand riddle about a steroid-enhanced female shot putter from the Olympics is causing turbulence, the Dominion-Post reported. Twitter followers have called it "transphobic" and in bad taste.
According to the paper, the airline's "Christmas Cracker" promotion at its Grabaseat website offered a joke as a consolation for those who do not win any prizes. One was: "What large heavy ball was responsible for Valerie Adams' gold medal? The Belarusian's left testicle."
Adams is the New Zealand athlete who was awarded the Olympics gold medal after Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, the original women's champion, at the London Olympics, tested positive for steroids.
The Gay Express in New Zealand quoted a couple of Twitter followers.
"@johubris tweeted “Hey @FlyAirNZ @grabaseat this joke is unbelievably offensive, transphobic and just plain unnecessary. Really poor form/"
@JaggyL tweeted “Nadzeya Ostapchuk had her medal stripped for taking steroids, not for not being feminine enough for sexist bigots.”
@Desdrata tweeted (as per the Dominion-Post): ''Wow, can't believe you guys thought that was something good to post online.''
Perhaps adding insult to an already questionable stab at humor following threats to boycott the carrier, the Sydney Morning Herald said Air New Zealand responded by tweeting: "not everyone likes our xmas cracker jokes so tell us your tacky kiwi jokes & we'll add our favourites into the cracker."