We are disappointed to see Alejandro Garnacho’s recent tweet. We understand that his intentions were not to offend, in fact the opposite, when reflecting on the performance of his team-mate Andre Onana.
While the intent may have been to compliment, the tweet does not account for the lived experiences of many across the United Kingdom and beyond. Cultural sensitivities are an essential consideration.
Premier League footballers are speaking to the entire nation and the wider world given the platform they hold. By virtue of the Premier League attracting the best talent from around the globe many players are unaware of cultural sensitivities.
This is a learning opportunity for Garnacho and the broader game. The focus should be on Onana’s performance now, not on insensitive comments – no matter the best intentions.
In an effort to avoid this happening again we would urge all clubs and the Premier League to review training, to educate and to inform. Understanding lived experiences of team-mates will help reduce the risk of saying or writing something that could be perceived as insensitive.
We would reiterate this is not a reason to focus on criticising Garnacho but instead a chance to be, and do, better in football.