The summer is not being anything calm for Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé. To the elimination of France in the round of 16 of the Eurocup, the injury of the winger and the rumors about his exits from FC Barcelona, now we must add a controversial video in which both are accused of being racists, especially Dembélé.
The video was recorded during Barcelona’s pre-season tour of Japan in 2019 but has seen the light in recent days. The images show the two players in the hotel room and two workers fixing a problem with the television.
In the controversial recording, Dembéle is heard saying in a mocking tone: “All these ugly faces just so you can play PES, aren’t you ashamed? What kind of backward language is that? Are you technologically advanced in your country or not?”. Before these words, Griezmann responding laughing.
The video has been disseminated on social networks where they have not taken long to label the two French players as racists and xenophobes for laughing at Japanese people.
Both Griezmann and Dembélé asked for forgiveness but it seems that their repentance is not enough and the reactions have not been long in coming.
“I have always been committed against all forms of discrimination. For several days some people have made me pass as a man that I am not. I firmly reject the accusations against me and I regret if I could offend my Japanese friends,” Griezmann wrote in his account from Twitter.
“It was not against any community. Sometimes I use this type of expression in private, with friends, regardless of its origin. This video is now public. I understand that it could have hurt the people present in that image and for that reason I present my most sincere apologies, “Dembélé said in a message on Instagram.
The CEO of Rakuten, FC Barcelona’s main sponsor, has dismissed these comments as unacceptable and has asked the club for explanations for the behavior of its players.
“As a club sponsor and tour organizer, I am very sorry that the FC Barcelona players made discriminatory comments. As Rakuten has endorsed the Barça philosophy and sponsored the club, such statements are unacceptable under any circumstances and will formally protest against him. club and seek your views. “
For its part, FC Barcelona has issued a statement apologizing for the behavior of its players and has announced that internal measures will be taken.
“We are very sorry that the video showed a situation that made Japanese and Asian fans and partners uncomfortable. The value of clubs and partners is a belief that must be respected at all levels of the organization, from the management of FC Barcelona and managers to the athletes of the various club sports teams. The club is committed to improving education on racial issues, discrimination and diversity. There is no place for racism at FC Barcelona. The club’s management will do everything possible to ensure that similar situations do not happen again in the future. Both players have already expressed their apologies and regrets to the Japanese fans and partners, but the club will continue to take internal measures as necessary, “the statement said.
Also, another of Barcelona’s sponsors, Konami, who had also signed Griezmann as an ambassador for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Game, has shown his discomfort with this situation and has unilaterally canceled the contract he had with the French footballer.
The situation of Griezmann and Dembélé has been complicated both in sports and in extra sports and both are in the eye of the hurricane.