Chelsea Football Club, a British soccer team whose matches attract tens, possibly hundreds of millions of viewers in China, issued an official apology to China and Chinese soccer fans on July 23 after its Brazilian player, Robert Kenedy, made a string of insulting posts on social media, the Guardian reported.
- Ahead of the team’s pre-season tour game against Arsenal in Beijing on July 22, the 21-year-old player posted two videos on his Instagram account. One post was captioned “Porra China,” which is a Portuguese equivalent for “F**k China.” The other post shows a sleeping Chinese security guard with the caption “Acorda China, Vacillator,” which means “Wake up China, idiot.”
- Many Chinese internet users condemned Kenedy and called him racist.
- Kenedy soon deleted the posts, and said any offense caused by them was “not intentional.” On Instagram, Kenedy wrote, “Hello my friends, just wanna say sorry if someone was sad because I used the expression ‘porra,’ was no racism, just an expression.”
- Chelsea apologized on the social media platform Weibo, saying that it “is very sorry for the social media messages posted by Kenedy.” In a full apology published later, the London club wrote that Kenedy’s posts “caused great offense and hurt the feelings of the people of China,” and that the player “has been strongly reprimanded and disciplined.”
- Chinese internet users were not impressed: “You can apologize over and over again, but I have no intention to forgive you. Never,” one commenter wrote (in Chinese).
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