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18 Dec, 2017 12:42

Antoine Griezmann accused of racism over blackface costume tweet

Antoine Griezmann accused of racism over blackface costume tweet

French international footballer Antoine Griezmann has caused a storm after posting a picture of himself in ‘blackface’ as part of a basketball star fancy dress costume for an 80s-themed Christmas party.

In the tweet, which has since been deleted, Griezmann appears in blackface and dressed in an ‘NBA All Stars’ jersey in the style of the famous Harlem Globetrotters exhibition team, with the caption “80s party” accompanied by emojis.

Blackface originated in the 19th century when white thespians used makeup to cover their skin to play black characters. The practice has largely been discontinued, as it is deemed by many as outdated and in poor taste.

Griezmann has since been scolded on social media, with many Twitter users reacting in disgust to the costume and accusing the Atletico Madrid forward of racism.

Meanwhile, some users thought the response was an overreaction, and defended the player, insisting the costume was not racist.

In response to the negative reactions, the 26-year-old wrote: “Calm down guys, I’m a fan of the Harlem globetrotters and the good times… It’s a tribute.”

He later deleted the original tweet before posted an apology, writing in French: “I agree that it's awkward for me. If I hurt some people excuse me.”

Griezmann is seemingly a basketball fan, as one of the two accounts he is following on Twitter is the National Basketball Association (NBA) official account. The other is the official account of Atletico Madrid.

Last week, Griezmann's manager at Atletico, Diego Simeone, said that the player would be allowed to leave the club, with Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain reportedly interested in signing him.