Bayern Munich star Rafinha’s bomber costume at Halloween party sparks outrage on social media
- German club accused of racism for posting picture of Rafinha in bomber outfit
- Brazilian says ‘I have a lot of Arabian friends’ before deleting apology and writing another
Bayern Munich defender Rafinha has apologised after dressing up as an “Arab bomber” for a Halloween party attended by the German club’s stars.
The Bundesliga champions posted a picture to their 4.51 million Twitter followers which featured Brazilian Rafinha dressed in a long Arabic thobe with a red and white checked kufiya over his head.
The defender is also seen carrying a cardboard box that looks like a package bomb, bearing the German word “vorsicht”, which translates into English as “caution”.
“Halloween is a scary celebration with exaggerated costumes, it was not my intention to anger anyone through my disguise or hurt someone’s feelings,” Rafinha wrote on Twitter on Thursday night.
But that apology came after Rafinha had initially posted a first apology which was accompanied by another picture of him wearing the outfit.
“I have a lot of Arabians [sic] friends and I love every one of them,” he wrote in the first apology which was quickly deleted and replaced.
The second apology attached a picture of him playing for Bayern instead.
The 33-year-old then added a further apology on his Instagram story.
“I can imagine you are so disappointed,” he wrote. “This picture does not represent who I truly am as I respect every culture and religion including yours. I am sorry!”
After being accused of racism by angry netizens, Bayern also deleted the tweet containing the original photo, which was initially posted by defender Jerome Boateng on his social media accounts.
“Seriously? … someone dressed up as BOMBER(?)” wrote one user on Twitter.
Another said: “This is sick … not all Arabs bombers, it looks funny for you but you don’t know how you are effecting others.”
Halloween is a scary celebration with exaggerated costumes, it was not my intention to anger anyone through my disguise or hurt someones feelings. pic.twitter.com/ZZumqzpLBD
— Rafinha Official (@R13_official) November 1, 2018
Bayern defender Mats Hummels came to his teammate’s defence, however. “Rafinha did not mean to offend anyone with this outfit,” he said.
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling apologised in 2014 for dressing up at a fancy dress party as a “Jaegerbomber” – an attempted comedy play on a suicide bomber outfit.
Wearing a similar checked headscarf to Rafinha, Smalling had bottles of Jaegermeister and cans of Red Bull strapped to a military-style vest, and a mock circuit board and cables attached.
— RedMancunian (@RedMancunian) January 9, 2014
“Although he fully accepts in hindsight it was an ill-thought out and insensitive decision, absolutely no harm was intended whatsoever and he apologises for any offence caused,” Smalling’s management company at the time said.
Atletico Madrid and France star Antoine Griezmann also caused outrage last year after dressing up for a party in blackface as a Harlem Globetrotter basketball star.
“Calm down friends, I am a fan of the Harlem Globetrotters and of that beautiful era, it is a tribute,” he said on Twitter, after sparking outrage.
Griezmann later deleted the picture. “I admit it’s awkward from me,” he then wrote. “If I did hurt anybody, then I apologise.”