Barcelona: Griezmann and Dembele criticized by Rakuten president for Japanese videos

What was said?

Mikitani posted on Twitter (via Google translate): “As a club sponsor and tour organizer, I am very sorry that the FCB players made discriminatory remarks.

“Since Rakuten has endorsed Barca’s philosophy and sponsored the club, such statements are unacceptable under any circumstances and will officially protest the club and solicit their point of view.”

What do the videos show?

Both videos appear to have been shot during Barcelona’s pre-season tour of Japan ahead of the 2019-20 season. They have been widely shared and commented on on social media in recent days.

The first shows Griezmann in a hotel room and is apparently shot by Dembele.

The video shows hotel staff trying to fix a television so French internationals can play a Pro Evolution Soccer video game.

As hotel staff work on television, Dembele can be heard saying, “What kind of backward language is this? and “Are you technologically advanced in your country or not? “

The second video shows Griezmann in an ice bath alongside Dembele and Samuel Umtiti. Griezmann shouts at the camera with an affected accent and has been accused of using the words: “Ching chong”.

What was the response?

Dembele, 24, said in a statement: “Recently, a private video from 2019 is circulating on social media.

“The scene is in Japan. It could have taken place anywhere on the planet, I would have used the same expressions.

“So I wasn’t targeting any community. I sometimes use these kinds of expressions in private, with friends, regardless of their origin.

“This video is now public. So I can imagine that it could have offended the people in these pictures. Therefore, I offer them my sincere apologies.

Griezmann, 30, wrote on Twitter: “I have always been committed against all forms of discrimination. For the past few days, some people have wanted to pass me off as a man that I am not.

“I completely refute the charges against me and I am sorry if I have offended my Japanese friends.”

In 2017, Griezmann apologized for any infringements caused after posting an image of himself on social media with his face painted black as part of an NBA costume.

Griezmann first reacted to criticism of his costume by tweeting: “Calm down folks, I’m a fan of the Harlem Globetrotters and this great era … It’s a tribute.”

He then tweeted an apology. “I admit it’s insensitive on my part. If I have offended some people, I’m sorry, ”he wrote.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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