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Chelsea club apologizes for racist videos

2017-07-24

Source: Global Times    Published: 2017-7-24


The UK Premier League`s Chelsea Football Club apologized to China and Chinese soccer fans after its player Robert Kenedy posted videos targeting the country and its people.


The apology was made on Sunday on Chelsea`s website in both Chinese and English, after the club initially posted an apology on its Chinese Sina Weibo microblog and Kenedy deleted his posts and appeared to have apologized.


Ahead of a pre-season friendly against Arsenal in Beijing on Saturday, Kenedy posted two videos with dirty words against China and the people on his Instagram account on Friday.


The first video was entitled, "Porra China (xxxx China)," before a second clip of a sleeping Chinese security guard with the caption, "Acorda China, Vacillator (Wake up China. You idiot)."


The footballer`s tirade baffled Chinese Chelsea fans, and sparked condemnation from the Chinese public.


"Kenedy`s actions were a mistake that he will learn greatly from. His behavior does not represent the entire team and does not align with the club`s high expectations and strict requirements of its young players," read Chelsea`s latest apology.


"Unfortunately, even though he quickly deleted the messages and apologized, and the club also apologized through our Chinese social media channels, the damage had already been done. Chelsea Football Club once again solemnly and sincerely apologizes."


"He has been strongly reprimanded and disciplined," it said in the post, reaffirming that the football club "has the utmost respect and admiration for China and loves our Chinese fans."


The letter also said Chelsea wants to keep working with and conduct more exchanges with China.


Chinese fans say they don`t understand why a player from their beloved football club would do such a thing while he and his teammates were warmly welcomed by Chinese fans.


Some fans called on the public to separate Kenedy`s behavior from the team`s. "Other Chelsea players and coaching staff are friendly to China and the Chinese people, and they put on a good game in Beijing in their 3-0 win over Arsenal, and also interacted very well with fans after the game. But these were overlooked by the public over Kenedy`s offensive behavior," an anonymous Beijing-based Chelsea fan told the Global Times.


Since the two videos were posted, many Net users fought back on Kenedy`s Instagram account with an imitation of the caption in his posts (such as "Porra Kenedy"). Kenedy deleted his videos and posted a statement.


As the Kenedy scandal grew, a Chinese student posted a video on Chinese social media showing him and his girlfriend being yelled at by an American woman at a New York restaurant.


The lady claims she is American and asks the "foreign dogs" to move from the table.


Chinese scholars said that China and its people should help foreigners rethink their bias and disrespect toward China.


People.com.cn, the website of People`s Daily, published a commentary on Sunday, quoting ancient Chinese philosopher Mencius as saying, "People who insult others are also insulted," to condemn Kenedy`s behavior.


"We thought that after the Beijing Olympics in 2008, China`s image would have largely improved, and we use our strength to help others through the Belt and Road initiative, and think foreigners will respect us more. Unfortunately, we might be wrong," Peking University professor Zhang Yiwu said.


Fudan University Cyberspace Research Center professor Shen Yi said such things still exist in the West, as they had inherited it from the old West-dominated international system. "West against non-West, whites against other races, they have never been thoroughly corrected."


The unfair criticism and bias against China in the foreign mainstream media have not subsided, however, this is also very normal, Zhang said. "When the US was rising, European countries also looked down on Americans. China is different from the West, so the bias won`t disappear immediately after our huge economic success," he said.


Zhang Yiwu is a senior fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY).

Key Words: Chelsea club  UK  football  Zhang Yiwu  

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