Chelsea’s brief time in China has become marred by two offensive Instagram posts from Kenedy, who has now been “strongly reprimanded and disciplined” for his actions though Chelsea have not released any further details of the disciplinary action in their official apology.
Chelsea Football Club apology to Chinese people for player’s offensive social media posts https://t.co/lGanPiaJ6o— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 23, 2017
Kenedy deleted the posts and issued his own apology of sorts as well.
“Hello my friends, just wanna say sorry if someone was sad because I used the expression ‘porra’, was no racism, just an expression…big hug.”
Kenedy may not have intended it as racism, but his posts “caused great offence and hurt the feelings of the people of China”. Chelsea’s statement condemns his behaviour, saying that it “does not represent the entire team and does not align with the club’s high expectations and strict requirements of its young players”.
Chelsea’s official statement, released in both English and Chinese expresses hope that this incident will not damage future relations. Chelsea have placed a strong emphasis on marketing and expanding the club’s fanbase in China and the rest of East Asia over the past decade. “We very much hope to build on our strong relationship with our Chinese fans and friends, joining hands firmly with China in future for further cooperation.”
A second apology from Kenedy was later issued as well.
“I would like to apologise to the people of China for the offence I have caused. It was never my intention to insult or offend anyone at all and I now realise that my comments were totally inappropriate. I wish to state that I have tremendous respect and admiration for the Chinese people and their country. I would also like to apologise to my club Chelsea and all my companions who I have let down by my posts. I fully understand the responsibility of representing my club and it was never my intention to cause this embarrassment nor disrespect.”