Video game publisher Konami cancels contract with Griezmann after controversial video released

French striker Antoine Griezmann is in turmoil. At the heart of the controversy, the recent broadcast of two amateur videos dating from 2019 showing the players of the France team Ousmane Dembélé and Antoine Griezman making fun of the physique and the language of hotel employees in Japan. On Wednesday July 7, the Japanese video game publisher Konami decided on Wednesday to break Antoine Griezmann’s ambassador contract.

“We announced that Antoine Griezmann would be our ambassador Yu Gi Oh!, but, in the light of recent events, we have decided to cancel the contract ”, the company said in a statement. Konami, which publishes a football game for consoles every year, Pro Evolution Soccer, also asked FC Barcelona “To explain the details of this case and future actions”. “Discrimination in all its forms is unacceptable”, added the editor.

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Apologies on social media

One of the videos, broadcast on Friday July 2 on an almost anonymous YouTube account – which has twenty-five subscribers – shows Dembélé calling out to his Barça teammate while technicians are busy around a television in a bedroom. hotel. He is ironic about their physique and their language under the gaze of Griezmann, amused but silent. These images have been taken in a particularly relayed tweet, calling for an end to racism against Asians with the hashtag #StopAsianHate. A second, much shorter video shows Antone Griezmann imitating an Asian accent in a mocking tone.

The two players apologized on Sunday July 4. “I have always been committed against any form of discrimination. (…) I firmly refute the accusations made to me and I am sorry if I could offend my Japanese friends ”, said Antoine Griezmann. His partner in Barcelona and in the France team assured for his part that he “Would have used the same expressions” anywhere on the planet, and “No community”.

Rakuten calls for accounts

Tuesday, July 6, Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, FC Barcelona shirt sponsor, said he wanted ” an explanation “ and let it be known on the social network Twitter that he would “Officially protest to the club”. “As a partner of the club and host of the tour, I very much regret the discriminatory remarks made by FC Barcelona players”, the entrepreneur tweeted.

The Barça striker, who denounced at the end of the year the assault of a black music producer by the police in Paris, had already had to apologize in December 2017 after posting a photo of him on social media, dressed as a black Harlem Globetrotters player. A tribute, according to him, but a gesture denounced as a “blackface”, which refers to a racist practice born at the time of segregation in the United States.

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The World with AFP