Mario Balotelli, a forward for English premier league team, Liverpool, has been charged by the Football Association for posting a controversial meme of the Nintendo's Super Mario on instagram. Several races are referenced in the meme, which concludes by saying the character, "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a jew.”
Just a few hours after Balotelli posted it on December 1, many people said they found it offensive and accused him of Racism and Antisemitism.
Balotelli deleted the image after it caused a lot of controversy, denied the accusations of racism and then issued an apology on Facebook to people who found the pic offensive.
Despite the public apology, and Mario Ballotelli submitting his observation of the post to the FA committee yesterday Dec. 5th, stating he had no intention of being racial with the photo and that he has also been a victim of racial attacks before, the FA still charged him. They said in the charge,
“It is alleged the Liverpool player breached FA Rule E3 (1) in that his posting was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper. It is further alleged that this is an ‘Aggravated Breach’ as defined by FA Rule E3 as it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief. The player has until 6pm on 15 December 2014 to respond to the charge.”
The rule E3, cites as “aggravating factors” references to ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
Former FA executive Simon Johnson Johnson, who is the current chief executive of the UK Jewish Leadership Council, called on the FA to punish the 24-year-old Balotelli, telling the Daily Telegraph.
"We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found. We call upon the FA to investigate this offensive social media post and to take action if appropriate if we are to succeed in kicking racism out of football."
Liverpool said they plan to speak to Balotelli, and said in a statement that they "are aware of the posting which has since been promptly deleted by the player."