Mario Balotelli’s knack of attracting the wrong type of headlines shows no sign of abating with the Italian international facing a possible English Football Association charge for racially stereotyping Jewish and black people in a social media post.
The FA is looking into Balotelli’s reposting of a Nintendo character Super Mario image that underneath had the words “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a jew.”
Balotelli quickly deleted the Instagram image, before tweeting: “My Mom is jewish so all of u shut up please,” a reference to his foster mother, Silvia.
He apologized Tuesday on Twitter explaining the post “was meant to be anti-racist with humor.”
He added: “I now understand that out of context may have the opposite effect. Not all Mexicans have mustaches, not all black people jump high and not all Jewish people love money.
“I used a cartoon done by someone else because it has Super Mario and I thought it was funny and not offensive. Again, I’m sorry.”
Liverpool said they plan to speak to Balotelli, who has missed the club’s last three games due to a groin injury he picked up on international duty in November.
“We are aware of the posting which has since been promptly deleted by the player,” said Liverpool in a statement.
However, former FA executive Simon Johnson called on the FA to punish the 24-year-old Balotelli.
“We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found,” Johnson, who is the current chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, told the Daily Telegraph.
“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.”
Playing iIn Italy, Balotelli frequently faced racist abuse in stadiums, while in September Merseyside police investigated racist remarks on Twitter made to Balotelli after he posted a message during Manchester United’s 5-3 defeat against Leicester City.