Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé have both responded to accusations of racism stemming from the emergence on social media of a video apparently recorded in 2019. Although it has not been confirmed, the recording is thought to have been made when Barcelona were in Japan during pre-season in 2019, shortly after Griezmann joined the club from Atlético Madrid.The video shows technicians in Griezmann’s room fixing the France forward’s television, while Dembélé, who recorded the footage, is heard making disparaging remarks about the hotel staff.
After the video emerged on social media, both Barcelona players have apologized for any offence.
Griezmann, Dembélé apologize on social media
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
“I have always been completely against any form of discrimination,” Griezmann wrote on Twitter. “For the past few days, certain people have wanted to portray me as someone I am not. I firmly refute these accusations made against me and I’m sorry if I have offended any of my Japanese friends.”
Dembélé also sought to defuse the incident on Instagram: “Over the last few days, a private video dating back to 2019 has been circulating on social media. It took place in Japan but it could’ve been anywhere on the planet and I would’ve used the same expressions. I was therefore not targeting any community. I just happened to use this type of expression with my friends regardless of their origins.
“This video has since been made public. I appreciate therefore that it could’ve hurt the people present in these images. Because of this, I would like to sincerely apologise to them.”