Antoine Griezmann lost a contract with video game producer Konami after the circulation of a viral video showing the Frenchman laughing while Ousmane Dembele ridiculed hotel personnel in Japan. The latest football news reports that during Barca’s pre-season visit to Japan in 2019, the video was filmed, and it has received a lot of backlash on social media.
In the clip, Dembele makes fun of the hotel workers attempting to fix the pair’s television. Saying, as quoted by the Daily Mail: “All these ugly faces, just so you can play PES [Pro Evolution Soccer], aren’t you ashamed?” Dembele then adds: “What kind of backward language is that?” and “Are you technologically advanced in your country or not?”
The two have now apologized for their behaviour, claiming that they were not racist. That hasn’t stopped Griezmann from losing his Konami deal, according to Marca. Many months ago he had signed on as a brand ambassador for the Japanese digital entertainment firm, with plans to promote both the next PES video game and the company’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Series. However, he has already lost that contract, and Griezmann’s situation could deteriorate further.
One of Barcelona’s main sponsors – Rakuten, a Japanese firm, has also slammed the duo. CEO Hiroshi Mikitani wrote on Twitter: “As a sponsor of the club and organiser of this tournament, I am really sorry that the Barcelona players made discriminatory remarks.
“Especially as Rakuten has approved of the Barcelona philosophy and is a sponsor of the club, these sorts of remarks are unacceptable in all circumstances and we will protest officially against the club, as we wait to hear their position on the matter.”