"I'm confused" - Micah Richards slams Napoli for ‘embarrassing’ video mocking Victor Osimhen
Micah Richards is shocked how Napoli's media team didn't realize the harm their controversial TikTok video mocking Victor Osimhen would cause.
Napoli's official TikTok account uploaded a video of Osimhen dressed as a coconut with a sped-up voiceover. The video made light of the Nigerian missing a penalty in a 0-0 draw against Bologna on September 24. The video has received massive backlash with some deeming it as racism.
Richards has given his take on the video and he can't believe nobody within the Serie A champions' media team didn't take into account the racial interpretations. The former Manchester City defender told CBS Sports Golazo:
"Where do we start with that because I'm confused. You've got a black guy and dressed him as a coconut. No matter what, whether they meant it to be offensive or not, surely you would just think in your mind 'You've got a black person , do we want to cover his body with a coconut?' Like does that not go through your head at any point?"
Gli Azzurri have stated that through a statement and manager Rudi Garcia, they meant no harm with the video. However, the club's social media executive Alessio Fortino has announced he's leaving the Serie A giants, per The Daily Mail.
Richards acknowledged that the video's release may have only come down to one individual rather than the club as a whole. But he thinks the ordeal is embarrassing:
"We can't sort of say the whole of Napoli, it might've been one guy, it might've been two people. We don't now. But for that to come out is quite embarrassing."
Osimhen has since played twice following the scandal which swept Italian football over the past week. He scored in wins against Udinese (4-1) and Leece (4-0).
Osimhen releases statement addressing Napoli's video
Speculation grew over Osimhen's future in the immediate aftermath of the video's release. His agent threatened to take legal action against Gli Azzurri. He removed all posts on his Instagram account related to the Naples club.
However, the Nigeria international has since released a statement indicating he has put the saga behind him. He claimed that he still loved the club (via ESPN):
"Coming to the City of Naples in 2020 was a wonderful decision for me. The People of Naples have shown me so much love and kindness, and I will not allow anyone to come between us."
The Nigerian came to the defense of Napoli fans who had been dragged into the controversy:
"The accusations against People of Naples are untrue. I have a lot of friends that are Napolitans and have become part of my family and everyday life. I appreciate Nigerians and everyone for leading their voices to support and reach out to me".
"Thanks so much, I'm forever grateful. Let's support unity, respect and understanding. FORZA NAPOLI SEMPRE."
Osimhen joined Gli Azzurri from Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille in 2020 for €75 million. He has bagged 64 goals and 15 assists in 109 games across competitions and was instrumental in the side's Scudetto triumph last season.