Following his ill-advised post on social media site Instagram on Monday, Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has issued a public apology in the wake of inciting the ire of not only a number of football supporters, but anti-racist and Jewish organizations as well.
“I apologize if I’ve offended anyone. The post was meant to be anti-racist with humour” the 24-year old, who has been the subject of a number of high profile instances of racism both on and off the field, wrote on his Twitter account. “I now understand that out of context may have the opposite effect. Not all Mexicans have moustache, not all black people jump high and not all Jewish people love money.” Despite quickly deleting the post and apologizing, the Football Association is investigating ahead of taking further action.
Balotelli has been a staunch advocate for kicking racism out of football in the past, which has lead many to believe that the Italian hit-man isn’t anti-Semitic or racist at all — just a bit dafter than normal. Regardless of all of that, Simon Johnson, who is head of the Jewish Leadership Council has called for the FA to put the boot down on the Liverpool man.
“We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found,” Johnson said in a statement. “We call upon the FA to investigate this offensive social media post and to take action if appropriate if we are to succeed in kicking racism out of football.”
Should the FA choose to take action against Balotelli, the Reds striker could face a ban of five matches along with a hefty fine — something that will surely leave the Anfield hierarchy shaking their heads at his stupidity and possibly taking disciplinary steps of their own.