Manchester United’s winger Alejandro Garnacho has avoided an outbreak of controversy when the Football Association (FA) opted for not to punish him for a recent social media comment.
The 19-year-old united player landed in hot water after sharing a picture of teammate Andre Onana’s amazing penalty save during their Champions League match against Copenhagen. The image was accompanied by two gorilla emojis prompting outrage from some people who deemed the post disgusting.
Garnacho quickly deleted the post, and Onana came to his defense, pointing out that he knew player’s intentions were to communicate a message of power and strength. “People cannot choose what I should be offended by,” Onana said.
I understand exactly what Garnacho meant when he said “power and strength.” This case should be closed.”
While the incident first raised eyebrows, the FA’s inquiry determined that Garnacho did not deserve to be punished, allowing him to continue his promising career without a shadow of controversy.
An FA spokesperson said: “We have concluded an investigation in relation to a recent post on Alejandro Garnacho’s social media,” an FA spokesperson said on Tuesday.
“We sought the player’s observations as part of our investigation, and he explained that the use of two gorilla emojis was intended to highlight the strength and power of his teammates – specifically Andre Onana and Harry Maguire – following the pivotal roles that they played in Manchester United’s win over FC Copenhagen.
“We are satisfied with Alejandro Garnacho’s explanation and the context that it provides, so we will not be issuing disciplinary proceedings on this occasion.
“However, we have reminded the player of his responsibilities around social media posts and the use of emojis in particular which can be interpreted in different ways.
“We also intend to liaise with Kick It Out and the PFA to discuss other potential issues around the use of emojis and similar forms of messaging, and education that can be provided about them.”
However, it serves as a warning that public personalities, particularly sports athletes, must be careful in their social media contacts in order to avoid unnecessary scandal.
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