Ben Wanger, a baseball player on the Israeli Olympics team, has sparked backlash over a video he posted on his TikTok on Monday (26th July).
Wanger recently took to his TikTok to share a clip of him and eight other athletes testing the capacity of the now-famous beds made of cardboards (a.k.a the “Anti-sex bed”) provided to those competing for the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
"נראה כמה ישראלים צריך כדי לשבור את אחת ממיטות הקרטון": סרטון טיקטוק שהעלה שחקן נבחרת הבייסבול של ישראל לטוקיו 2020, בן ווגנר, מראה את שחקני הנבחרת "בוחנים" את עמידות המיטות בכפר האולימפי, כשהם קופצים על אחת המיטות בחדר עד שהיא נשברת@lianwildau pic.twitter.com/ATfDU70lww
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) July 27, 2021
The American athlete, who also plays for the Pennsylvanian baseball team – the Lancaster Barnstormers, started jumping on the bed alone. Wanger was then joined by his fellow teammates. The bed and mattress eventually started to collapse, under the weight of a total of nine male athletes.
This has in turn infuriated a lot of netizens, with most of them criticising Wanger and his teammates’ actions. After facing massive backlash from the public, the video was later taken down a few hours after it was uploaded. As expected, the video is no longer available on Wanger’s social media accounts.
For those in the dark, the anti-sex bed, which was 100% made from cardboard, has been the hot topic of conversation among fans of the Olympics. Previously, U.S track and field athlete Paul Chelimo started the rumour by revealing that the cardboard bed frames are aimed at “avoiding intimacy among athletes” (hence the name).
Meanwhile, Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan also had another theory about the anti-sex bed. In this case, he refuted Chelimo’s previous claims by sharing a video of him jumping on the bed on his Twitter. He successfully proved that the bed is in fact capable of carrying more than two people! Interestingly, McClenaghan’s post was also retweeted by the Olympic’s official Twitter account.
It’s understood that the bed will also be used by the athletes competing in the Paralympic games who will be coming to Tokyo starting next month. In commenting about the recent issue, Japanese bedding company Airweave revealed that the bed actually has better strength as compared to beds made of wood or steel. They further clarified that the real purpose is mainly to protect the environment, as the material is recyclable.
Athletes staying at Tokyo’s Olympic Village have been posting images of their ‘cardboard’ beds online. Some speculated that the beds are meant to deter athletes from having sex amid COVID-19, but Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan posted a video jumping on his bed to prove otherwise. pic.twitter.com/qHaLdCndv0
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 19, 2021
At the same time, Olympics officials have also urged all athletes participating in the games to not vandalise these beds for entertainment purposes. As stated in the handbook outlining safety measures, the participants are also advised to “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact such as hugs, high-fives and shaking hands.”
On top of that, the Olympics organising committee have also banned alcohol sales for this season. Meanwhile, the free condoms distributed to the athletes are also not allowed to be used throughout their stay in the Olympic village. The officials explained that the athletes are only allowed to use the condoms after returning to their home countries.
Apparently, all these aforesaid restrictions are intended to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak during the Olympics.