Alejandro Garnacho racism row: A look at the players whose well-intentioned social media posts landed them in trouble

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FOOTBALL Alejandro Garnacho racism row: A look at the players whose well-intentioned social media posts landed them in trouble

Joel Omotto 13:09 - 27.10.2023

Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho is currently under investigation after an innocent social media post was deemed racist but who are the other players to have faced similar problems?

Manchester United teenager Alejandro Garnacho is currently in the midst of a storm following a well-intentioned social media post that is now the subject of an investigation by the English Football Association (FA).

The 19-year-old used gorilla emojis in a social media post about his Manchester United team-mate Andre Onana following his heroic performance in Tuesday’s Champions League match against FC Copenhagen.

A photo of United players celebrating with the Cameroon goalkeeper following his crucial late penalty save in the win over Copenhagen appeared on Garnacho’s X handle (formerly Twitter) with the two emojis and was deleted after 15 minutes.

The FA have approached United to ask the 19-year-old Argentina winger for his observations before deciding whether it constitutes an aggravating factor under their rule Rule E3(1).

English football's governing body determines 'aggravating factors' under that rule to include comments that make a reference to any one or more of a person or persons' ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

Onana has since defended his team-mate saying: “People cannot choose what I should be offended by. I know exactly what @agarnacho7 meant: power and strength. This matter should go no further.”

However, if found culpable, Garnacho could be handed a suspension and given a monetary fine. He would not be the first one to land in hot soup over an innocent social media post that later turned sour.

Edinson Cavani

In January 2021, former United striker Edinson Cavani was handed a three-match suspension by the FA over an Instagram post that was intentionally not racist.

Cavani was fined £100,000 and banned for the post containing a Spanish word that is offensive in some contexts.

The striker was punished for referring to a friend in Uruguay as ‘negrito’ - which translates as 'thanks little black' - below a friend's Instagram post.

In his native Uruguay, it is a term of endearment, and not in any way offensive, but Cavani still deleted the comment and pleaded guilty to the FA charge.

The FA said a Premier League football fan would have deemed a word in the post "racially offensive."

In addition to his monetary and sporting punishments, Cavani was also made by the FA to undergo a two-hour face-to-face training course.

Bernardo Silva

Across the city, Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva was also punished with a one-game suspension and a £50,000 fine for his X (formerly Twitter) post about then-team-mate Benjamin Mendy in November 2019.

The midfielder posted a picture of Mendy as a child along with a cartoon character that is the symbol of Spanish chocolate brand Conguitos.

While the post was deleted inside an hour from when it was posted, Silva went on to show his bemusement at the negative reaction by writing: “Can't even joke with a friend these days.”

Like Cavani, Silva was also instructed by the FA to complete face-to-face education after he admitted his post was insulting and improper and brought the game into disrepute.

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