Barcelona player Ansu Fati received an apology in a Spanish newspaper on Thursday for being profiled racially by one of its journalists. ABC journalist Salvador Sostres wrote of Barcelona’s win over Ferencvaros on Tuesday that “Ansu when running has something of a gazelle, or a very young, black street vendor running” away from police.
Teammate Antoine Griezmann was one of many readers who denounced the description by Sostres in a message on Twitter: “Ansu is an exceptional young man who deserves the same respect as any human being. No to racism and no to bad manners.”
Ansu es un chico excepcional que merece respeto como cualquier ser humano. No al racismo y no a la mala educación. pic.twitter.com/LZuJOzoTMG
— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) October 21, 2020
ABC published an apology by Sostres on Thursday.
“My intention was to praise the beauty of Ansu’s movement and his talent as a very young player,” Sostres wrote.
“Some expressions were understood as racist insults. Nothing was further from my intention, nor the very favorable opinion of the player that I have expressed in all the match reports I have written since his debut. I deeply lament the misunderstanding and I ask forgiveness if anyone has felt offended.”
Fati, who is Black, was born in Guinea Bissau and immigrated with his family to Spain when he was six years old. Now 17, he is one of Barcelona’s most promising players.
Barcelona says it was planning to sue the newspaper and journalist, but after Sostres’ apology it is reconsidering what course to take.