Buried by the drama of Deadline Day was the news that The FA are “looking into” the video that Mykhailo Mudryk had posted on TikTok of himself and a friend singing along to a song by Lil Baby called “Freestyle” — the uncensored version of which song contains 16 instances of the N-word, with the accompanying music video having been viewed over half a billion times on YouTube since its release in 2017.
Mudryk’s video was not nearly as popular (just over 200k before being deleted, and probably a lot less before going semi-viral for this reason), but it contained at least one instance of him saying the N-word, and that’s obviously not great, regardless of context, intention, etc.
Following the removal of the video, Mudryk’s representatives provided the appropriate and swift apology yesterday as well.
“Mykhailo is deeply sorry for any offence caused by the video posted on his TikTok account last July. Whilst his intention was solely to recite lyrics of a song, Mykhailo regrets his decision and wholeheartedly accepts it was not appropriate. The video has since been removed.”
-Mudryk statement; source: The Sun via talkSport
Hopefully we can all take this as a learning moment, and similarly, The FA’s random punitive processes can be satisfied with a fine and some remedial education courses. The FA do have a history of handing out occasional bans for similar offenses, so we’ll see.
Leading anti-discrimination group Kick It Out are “encouraged” by how Mudryk has handled this incident.
“Kick It Out condemns the use of all racial slurs, including the N-word irrespective of context.
“The N-word is deeply offensive and the use of this term by high-profile figures in football can only serve to alienate people from the game.
“It is important that footballers use their significant platform in a positive way, and we’re encouraged to see that Mykhailo Mudryk has acknowledged the hurt caused by his use of this offensive slur.”
-Kick It Out statement; source: talkSport