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The English Football Association is going to investigate a social media post by Edinson Cavani, in which the Uruguayan uses the word 'negrito'.
'Negrito' means something like 'little black man', which makes it offensive and racist for many. In Latin American countries, however, it is also often used in a loving way, for example against friends or even partners.
The striker of Manchester United claims that the Spanish word has no racist or otherwise negative connotations in his homeland, reminiscent of that of Cavani's compatriot Luis Suárez from 2011.
Cavani shared in his Instagram Story a message from a fan, with the text 'Gracias negrito'. The 33-year-old striker said he meant it in the Latin American, loving way, but later removed the post.
Suárez defended himself in a similar way in 2011. The striker clashed during Liverpool-Manchester United with Patrice Evra and called Evra 'negro' several times. Suárez still maintains that he had no evil in the sense at the time and that the word in Uruguay simply has a different meaning than in England.
"Is the word 'negro' the same in Spanish as in English? No, absolutely not. Am I a racist? No, absolutely not", said Suárez, who was finally suspended for eight races, in 2015 in his autobiography. "I was shocked when I realized what I was accused of."
though both were discredited by the use of the same word, Suárez was more opposed to appearances than Cavani. The former turned to his opponent during a heated altercation, while Cavani thanked a fan who said he loved him after his winning goal for Manchester United against Southampton.
If that matters to the FA, it has to be clear. The English union imposed a suspension on Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva last year after that teammate Benjamin Mendy compared in a tweet with a cartoon character on the wrapper of a Spanish chocolate brand. Bernardo Silva and Mendy saw no racism in that.
For discriminatory or racist language, the FA rules state a minimum penalty of three matches suspension.