AS Roma footballer says there was ‘no racist intent’ in banana comment captured in video

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In a video posted on social media on Monday, the 18-year-old forward can be seen opening the gift after scoring the only goal in Roma’s 2-0 win over Genoa on Sunday.

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In another poignant moment, Afena-Gyan and Mourinho hug after the gift initially appears, but in the background an unknown person can be heard saying in Italian, “There are bananas inside”.

Afena-Gyan, who is black, and Mourinho do not accept what was told and proceed to try on the new shoes, smiling and laughing with their teammates.


“Look at this, it’s a new model,” Mourinho tells her in English, as Afena-wisdom smiles.

He then sits down and models the shoes for everyone in the room, all of whom are away from the camera, and finally does a playful dance to show them off.

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Mourinho promised to buy him shoes after the match, Reuters reported.

This video has been posted on social media by some unknown person. Granthshala has also contacted Afena-Gyan for more context on the story.

Hours after the video was posted on social, he also posted a clip on his Instagram but started the video soon after Banana’s comment. He also added a longer message, downplaying any racist intent regarding the comment.

“I’ve been reading a lot of comments about the video I published earlier today of a special moment for me with Coach,” he wrote.

“I want to assure you all that I was not hurt in any way by the background remarks made in the video – and I truly believe there was no racist intent.

“From the first day I come to the club, I have been welcomed by everyone in the family, who have joked with me like they do with all the family members.

“Because they see that I eat a lot of bananas, which we sometimes laugh at – and I believe the comment was another example of that.”

He also indicated that he is moving on.

“Thank you for your concern,” he wrote. “Now, let’s focus on the next game.”

Granthshala has reached out to AS Roma for comment but has not received a response.


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