Italian tennis player Matteo Berrettini got trolled for alleged racist undertones after he shared an Instagram story of Basketball champ LeBron James with a gorilla emoji next to a crown emoji. It triggered a lot of people given LeBron’s ethnicity.
The 26-year-old meant no disrespect given that he is a massive fan of basketball and LeBron James. It took him almost 9 hours to realize the gravity of the situation, after which, he immediately deleted the story and promptly issued an apology.
Also read: “An ignorant idiot who didn’t use his head!” Twitter slams Matteo Berrettini for using a racially abusive ‘Black Gorilla’ to hail his idol, LeBron James
Berrettini apologizes on Instagram as a compliment for basketball star LeBron James gets misinterpreted
The former Wimbledon runner-up admitted how the emojis could be deemed offensive and apologised, stating that he views James with utmost respect.
Taking to Instagram, the Italian said, “I am very sorry if my previous story post offended anyone,” Matteo Berrettini said. “I was informed that it can easily be misinterpreted so I have deleted it. Lebron is my biggest idol. Incredible role model and inspiration.”
Berrettini has been known to be a basketball fanatic, even likening the “big three” of tennis to the “big three” of basketball. “The LeBron James of tennis? Nadal, in terms of physicality and why they both exploded [onto the scene] very young,” said Berrettini in the interview. “I would compare Federer to Michael Jordan. Djokovic reminds me of Kobe Bryant, for how he remains cold in difficult situations.”
Also read: “Very sorry for offending anyone” Matteo Berrettini issues heartfelt apology after unknowingly calling out LeBron James as ‘GORILLA’
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