A rather unfortunate story concerning two FC Barcelona players has taken another turn today.
Griezmann & Dembele video
The story in question began to break over the last week or so, and involved a video of Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele.
Said video is believed to have been taken back in 2019, when Barca were in Japan, and appears to show Dembele making some racists remarks to the staff in the room who are understood to be trying to set up the TV to allow the players to play a football game.
Dembélé: “All these ugly faces just [for us] to play PES, aren’t you [Griezmann] ashamed.”
Dembélé:”Oh fuck, what a language”
Dembélé:”You’re [supposed] to be developed as a country, aren’t you?”
— +Barça (@plusbarca_) July 3, 2021
Griezmann does not actually appear to make any comments, but is seen laughing along with his teammate.
The Frenchman recently released a Tweet addressing the incident, in which he stated:
“I have always been committed against any form of discrimination. For the past few days, some people have wanted to pass me off as the man I am not. I firmly refute the accusations made against me and I am sorry if I could offend my Japanese friends.”
Je me suis toujours engagé contre toute forme de discrimination. Depuis quelques jours certaines personnes veulent me faire passer pour l’homme que je ne suis pas. Je réfute avec fermeté les accusations qui me sont portées et je suis désolé si j’ai pu offenser mes amis japonais.
— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) July 5, 2021
Griezmann let go by Konami
However, Barcelona’s sponsor Rakuten – a Japan-based company – are seemingly not too happy, with CEO Hiroshi Mikitani releasing a statement saying that he will “formally protest the club”:
— 三木谷浩史 H. Mikitani (@hmikitani) July 6, 2021
Elsewhere, Konami, who had previously announced Griezmann as their Yu-Gi-Oh contents ambassador, have now fired the forward and released the following statement:
Konami Digital Entertainment believes, as is the philosophy of sports, that discrimination of any kind is unacceptable.
Previously we had announced Antoine Griezmann as our Yu-Gi-Oh! contents ambassador, however in light of recent events we have decided to cancel the contract.
With regard to our eFootball PES franchise, we will be requesting FC Barcelona as a club partner to explain the details of this case and its future actions.
This article was edited by Ben Browning.