Spanish newspaper's description of Ansu Fati reminds us that the U.S. hasn't cornered the market on racism

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Spanish newspaper ACB is apologizing after posting a racist description of Barca’s Ansu Fati.
Spanish newspaper ACB is apologizing after posting a racist description of Barca’s Ansu Fati.
Image: (Getty Images)

Things are so terrible in this country that sometimes you can forget they can be equally shitty elsewhere. And while an interview between Jason Whitlock and President Orangutan may feel like sports “journalism” has completely fallen through the bottom of the well and is hanging out with the rock people at the Earth’s core, at least we’ve found Whitlock’s next employer (should be sometime next year given his rate of attrition).

Things finally went right for FC Barcelona yesterday, as they tore apart Ferencvaros of Hungary in the Champions League 5-1. Taking a star-turn was winger Ansu Fati, who became the first player to score twice in the Champions League before he turned 18. Fati also became the Spanish national team’s youngest ever scorer last week.

You’d think the coming-out party of a possible generational talent for club and country would be a cause for celebration. But there isn’t anything conservatives can’t ruin, so step up Salvador Sostres of Spain’s ABC newspaper, a well-known right-leaning publication (they’ve even backed fascist parties!) that is Spain’s third-largest behind El Pais and El Mundo.


Describing Fati’s performance, this was the way Sostres thought was the most apt:

“Ansu in full flight has something of a gazelle about him, of a very young, black street seller that you suddenly see running along Paseo de Gracia when someone shouting ‘water, water’ (to warn other street sellers) announced that the local police have arrived.

“Now this kind of thing does not happen, because, for Ada Colau (the left-wing mayor of Barcelona), the criminals are the police and not the street sellers, who no longer have to run away. It is also true that without tourists, business is rather weak.”


This is the kind of thing Rush Limbaugh could only dream about having done on ESPN in one of his opiate-hazes. Don’t just focus on the likening to a criminal, or the shot at liberal Barcelona (ABC is based in Madrid), but also the association with an animal closely associated with Africa. It’s a cataclysm of stupidity.

But we’re not done. If you ever wanted to see the truest example of a non-apology apology from a true ignoramus, perhaps the truest outcome of one, well here you go:

“As I attempted to highlight the beauty of Ansu’s movement, and his class as a young player, some expressions were interpreted as racial discrimination.

“That could not be further from my intentions, or opinions, which are very favourable towards the player, as I have always expressed in my match reports since he made his debut.

“I deeply apologise for the misunderstanding and to those who may have been offended.”


It checks all the boxes. It blames the interpretation, not the actual words, and it’s everyone’s fault for being offended, and he’s sorry that they’re offended, which is on the same plane as saying he’s sorry people are sad for something else he had nothing to do with, like their lunch being stolen out of the break room. Also, I’m a nice guy!

Barcelona had considered suing the paper, but after this “apology” are considering their options.


Racism in soccer is nothing new of course, and there’s been a surge in it as right-wing movements spring up all over Europe, and frustration with the pandemic has turned more hearts cold. This has been a problem in Spain for years and years, as it was 16 years ago that this took place to Spain’s great shame.

Apparently not too much has changed.