Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has apologized for liking an Instagram post by Khabib Nurmagomedov. The post saw French President Emmanuel Macron insulted and addressed in a threatening tone for "offending the feelings of more than one billion Muslim believers".
The German footballer said that he reacted to the post by mistake, and that he does not condone or support the message of the post. He admitted his mistake and apologized, saying that he liked the post without realizing what it said, as it was written in a language he did not understand.
The caption of the post was written in Russian, Khabib's mother tongue, with scriptures from the Quran in Arabic.
Antonio Rudiger distances himself from Khabib Nurmagomedov's post
While addressing his reaction to Khabib Nurmagomedov's post, Antonio Rudiger, also a practicing Muslim, told Sportschau that he has withdrawn his like ever since the nature of the content was made clear to him. He would like to distance himself from the post and the message it sends, because he does not support violence of any kind.
"That was a mistake. Of course, you shouldn't like posts that are written in languages that you don't understand. I reject any kind of violence and therefore want to distance myself clearly from this content. I apologize for this like, which I have since withdrawn. Of course, I do not support such content as in this Instagram post at all."
While a large section of the sports community have spoken up against the message, there are a few who liked and supported it as well.
The post by the UFC Lightweight Champion, which included a picture of President Macron with a boot mark across his face, came in the wake of a recent incident in Paris. President Macron defended a history teacher Samuel Paty, who was murdered for showing cartoon caricatures of Muhammad.
His words drew disapproval from several Islamic nations and triggered strains in the country's relationship with Turkey as well.
Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC
President Macron's stance received mixed reaction from around the world. While many criticized him for hurting the feelings of Muslims, the rest hailed him for defending the right to freedom of speech.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, who has consistently and outspokenly kept his Islamic faith at the forefront of his undefeated MMA career, quite obviously fell in the first category.
Khabib Nurmagomedov not only retired with a record of 29-0 in professional mixed martial arts, but now holds the #1 pound-for-pound rank in UFC.Published 07 Nov 2020, 19:56 IST