FC Barcelona condemns Griezmann and Dembélé over video mocking Japanese hotel staff

Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly referred to as Barcelona, has condemned the actions of players Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé when they were captured on film mocking hotel staff in Japan in 2019. 

Regretting displeasure: FC Barcelona released an official statement on Wednesday.

  • The statement said, they “deeply regret the displeasure amongst Japanese and Asian fans and partners of our Club caused by a video that appeared a few days ago on social media in which two first team players (Ousmane Dembélé and Antoine Griezmann) displayed a lack of respect in their attitude towards several employees in the hotel in which they were staying.”
  • The Club, however, did not weigh in on whether they viewed the comments their players made as racist, according to CBS Sports.
  • Barcelona also distanced the Club from the players’ actions, saying that such “attitude in no way coincides with the values that FC Barcelona represents and defends” as “there is no place for racism or discrimination” in it.

What happened: Earlier this month, a video emerged online showing Dembélé apparently mocking the Japanese hotel staff repairing a television set while Griezmann was later seen grinning and laughing, NextShark previously reported.

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  • Dembélé allegedly made fun of the staff for their “ugly faces” and later mocked their language.
  • The video was leaked less than a week after the French national team lost the 2020 UEFA European Football Tournament on June 28, according to Deutsche Welle.
  • Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of Rakuten and the Club’s shirt sponsor, announced he would make a formal complaint to Barcelona.
  • Video games publisher Konami pulled its contract with Griezmann, who was previously made a contents ambassador for “Yu-Gi-Oh!,” according to IGN.

Apologies: After the clip generated widespread condemnation, Griezmann, 30, and Dembélé, 24, posted their apologies online on July 5, both insisting they were not racist.

  • In an Instagram Story, Dembélé wrote, “It could’ve taken place anywhere on the planet and I would’ve used the same expression. I was therefore not targeting any community. I just happened to use this type of expression with my friends regardless of their origins.”
  • On Twitter, Griezmann said that he has “always been completely against all forms of discrimination.”

Featured Image via FC Barcelona

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