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Dele could face fine, ban for controversial coronavirus video

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Not great, Bob!

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

It looks like like Dele has gotten himself into some deep trouble this weekend. In an airport on vacation during Tottenham’s winter break, Dele posted a video that has been called at best insensitive and at worst racist on Snapchat that appeared to mock a random Asian man in connection with the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China.

Dele since deleted the video and issued an apology on Chinese social media platform Weibo,

“Hi guys, it’s Dele. Just wanted to apologize on my behalf for the video I posted on Snapchat yesterday.

”It wasn’t funny and I realized that immediately and took it down. I let myself down and the club. I don’t want you guys to have that impression of me because it wasn’t funny.

”I realized that straight away and took it down. It isn’t something which should be joked about. I’m sending all of my love, thoughts and prayers to everyone in China.”

I’m not going to link to the original video here; if you’re curious it’s not at all difficult to find on social media. Suffice it to say that it was a really, really colossally stupid thing to do and Dele is being rightfully excoriated for it, including by Spurs fans.

It’s not likely to end anytime soon, with Dan Kilpatrick reporting that Dele is now being investigated for the video by the FA and could face a fine and/or a suspension.

Some Spurs fans may consider the idea of a ban for an offensive social media post overkill, but there’s already precedent. Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva was fined and suspended a game for a racist tweet about his teammate Benjamin Mendy back in November. More recently, Port Vale striker Tom Pope faces what could be a multi-match suspension by the FA for an anti-Semitic tweet he made in early January. Dele’s video almost certainly fits into that Venn diagram.

If I’m honest, Dele almost certainly deserves a ban. It’s both shocking and dismaying to see him post something so obviously insensitive about an Asian man he doesn’t know based upon world events and his ethnicity. He should know better. He almost certainly does know better based on the quick apology, but even his apology was more apologizing for making light of the coronavirus and less that he implied a random Asian person is a carrier because he’s Asian.

The FA has set the precedent now, but we won’t know what’s going to happen to Dele until they come back with a decision, and who knows how long that’ll take. What’s clear is that the FA is taking this seriously, which they should, and that Dele knows he did a really, really stupid thing and will probably be punished for it. And if he escapes a suspension, he should consider himself extremely lucky.