Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana defended Alejandro Garnacho over the now-deleted post with potential racial connotations
Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana has come in support of Alejandro Garnacho over a now-deleted post with racial connotations. Garnacho used two gorilla emojis while posting a picture of Onana and teammates as they celebrated the Cameroonian’s penalty save.
Football Association (FA) have contacted United over the matter even though the 19-year-old deleted his post after realizing his error. FA follows strong guidelines to make sure there are no breaches over racially sensitive social media posts.
Former Liverpool forward Luis Suarez and former United forward Edinson Cavani received bans for using a racially sensitive term. In their culture, both Uruguayan players commonly use the word that resulted in their suspension without any discriminatory meaning
Onana took to his Instagram account (h/t Manchester Evening News) to request the disciplinary community not to take any further action against his teammate. The 27-year-old provided an explanation that Garnacho’s emojis symbolized “power and strength,” and he did not take offense from them.
The Cameroonian has faced a tough start to his United career since signing for the Red Devils during the summer. Onana made a couple of critical errors so far this season, two coming in the first two Champions League losses.
However, the 27-year-old made a heroic last-minute penalty save to keep the clean sheet and give United a much-needed win.
Garnacho merely celebrated the victory with a now-deleted X (formerly known as Twitter) post to praise his goalkeeper. There is a consensus that the post had no malicious or discriminatory intentions from the young forward. Nevertheless, the use of “monkeys” as a comparison towards black people has a long and dark history known globally.
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Onana’s defence puts the FA in a peculiar position as the football world awaits their decision. Garnacho’s mistake has refocused attention on the issues of racism that professional players encounter. Footballers have a platform and therefore every action they take can have serious consequences.
We hope that this situation will not only give Garnacho some understanding but also the young players of his age. We’ll have to wait and see if the FA maintains consistency with their punishments or opts for leniency in the case of the Argentinian.