After Manchester United‘s victory over Southampton away from home, Edinson Cavani who was a second-half substitute in the match and scored two goals in the 74th and the additional 2 minutes of the game, took to his Instagram page to appreciate a friend that congratulated him for his performance in the match.
The Uruguayan striker decided to write “Gracias negrito” which means “thank you black” when translated into English. This was taken as racial discrimination even though the former Paris Saint Germain striker deleted the post.
Unfortunately for him, the post had already attracted attention before he could delete it which forced Manchester United to issue a press release on Sunday to declare that the 33-year-old Uruguay football star didn’t mean to racially abuse anyone.
The club’s statement insisted that the word that Edinson Cavani used on his Instagram post is not regarded as racial abuse in Uruguay but used as an affectionate compliment. Hence, the club added that the footballer was told that the word was discriminatory which propelled him to delete the post.
Manchester United’s statement read: “It is clear to us that there was absolutely no malicious intent behind Edinson’s message and he deleted it as soon as he was informed that it could be misconstrued.
“Edinson has issued an apology for any unintentional offense caused. Manchester United and all of our players are fully committed to the fight against racism.”
Any discriminatory word or comment a footballer in the United Kingdom makes against anyone is a punishable offense according to the lawbooks of the English FA. If a player playing in the Premier League or any other league in England is found guilty of racial abuse, such a player could suffer a three-match ban for the offense.
With that at the back of his mind, Edinson Cavani stressed some of the points Manchester United made in the club’s statement issued to defend his racial comment.
Cavani insisted that his social media comment was “an affectionate greeting to a friend, thanking him for his congratulations after” Manchester United’s 2-3 win over Southampton.
“The last thing I wanted to do was offend anyone”, the Uruguayan football star added.
“I am completely opposed to racism and deleted the message as soon as it was explained that it can be interpreted differently. I would like to sincerely apologize for this.”
Edinson Cavani joined Manchester United on October 5, 2020, on a free transfer from Paris Saint-German. Since he joined the club, the 33-year-old Uruguayan striker has scored three Premier League goals and provide one assist in 5 league games.
He has also played 128 minutes in the UEFA Champions League for United this season. His one-year contract with the Premier League club will expire in June 2020.