No sane person would flush gold down a toilet, nor would one consume gold-encrusted meat, but Bayern Munich forward Franck Ribéry essentially did both when he filmed himself at a Dubai restaurant preparing to put a steak flecked with the precious metal into what he later demonstrated to be his potty mouth.
Ribéry, along with his Bayern teammates, has spent the Bundesliga’s winter break in a training camp in the Qatari city of Doha. The Frenchman decided to spend some of his down time by hopping over to Dubai to fulfill what is apparently the duty of every well-known athlete: eating a meal at the restaurant owned by Salt Bae, the walking meme, whose 15 minutes of fame seemed to be up at least an hour ago.
As is proper when hanging out with Salt Bae, Ribéry was filmed standing awkwardly beside one of Bae’s trademark dishes of strained ostentatious decadence, this time steak à la Jill Masterson, as Bae sliced the meat like a weirdo before handing a bowl of salt to Ribéry for him to apply the memetic coup de grâce.
Understandably, Ribéry’s patronage of a restaurant known only for its blithe celebration of grossly indulgent wealth, and his choice of a meal that is the apogee of this grossness, earned him some well-deserved blowback from fans and the media. After all, you can’t go flaunting yourself stuffing your mouth with gold-encrusted food and expect not to get called out for it.
Nevertheless, Ribéry did not enjoy being taken to task by those he deemed his “haters.” In response, he explained his feelings on the matter in two tweets that featured some colorful, mother-fucking language. Here’s a link to his first tweet, but since it’s in French, we’ll put the English translation below:
For 2019, let’s put the dots back on the i’s and the crosses on the t’s ... Let’s start with the jealous ones, the haters, surely born from a busted condom: f*ck your mothers, your grandmothers and even your family tree. I owe you nothing, my success is above all thanks to God, to me and my loved ones who believed in me, for others, you were only pebbles in my socks!
Here’s a link to the second part of his message, with the translation below:
Then, concerning these pseudo-journalists who have always negatively criticized me, my acts (the latest example: the Price of what I eat!) ... When I make charitable donations, (because I have learned to give when I receive a lot ...) Why doesn’t a major national media broadcast this?
No, you prefer to talk about a holiday that I spend with family, you scan my actions, what I eat etc! Oh yes, for this kind of triviality you are present!
Yesterday, Bayern announced that they had fined Ribéry for his comments. The club’s statement clarified that Ribéry was at the restaurant as part of an ad campaign and thus did not pay for the reportedly €1,200 steak himself, as had been erroneously stated elsewhere. Bayern’s sporting director, Hasan Salihamidžić, said Ribéry “had every right” to defend his family from the online abuse they were purportedly subjected to in light of the video, but that the player crossed the line with the language he used and so the club had to hand him a “large fine.”
You might think it a little odd for Salihamidžić to support Ribéry’s right to defend himself from criticism born from the seemingly unobjectionable position that it is bad for a celebrity to lend the sanitizing sheen of their fame to a restaurant that throws away literal gold for fun, a restaurant housed in the slave-erected playpen for the megarich that is Dubai. But then you’d remember that Bayern themselves are currently doing the exact same thing to an even greater extent by holding their winter training session in Doha in the first place, and it would all make much more sense.