Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has said that he is “completely opposed” to racism and has apologised for his Instagram post on Sunday.
The FA is investigating after Cavani used the phrase “gracias n******” on the platform.
The Uruguayan was thanking a follower, who had lauded the player for his two-goal haul against Southampton.
But while the word in question has affectionate connotations in Uruguay, it translates directly in English to ‘black’. What’s more, Luis Suarez received an FA ban for using the word against Patrice Evra in 2011.
Cavani, 33, said (via United’s official website) that he meant the phrase as an “affectionate greeting to a friend”.
He added that he is “completely opposed” to racism and “sincerely” apologised if any offence – which he did not intend – has been caused.
The striker also said that he deleted the post as soon as he was it was explained to him that it could be interpreted differently.
United, meanwhile, added that there was “no malicious intent” behind the post.
According to Watford striker Troy Deeney, though, Cavani should not be let off the hook for his “considered” post.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Deeney admitted that Cavani may not have known about such context. However, he insisted that teaching players should be part of the FA’s action.
“It’s never right, no matter which way you look at it,” the forward said. “I just think when you write a message out, it’s considered, nine times out of 10, that you’ll proofread it before putting it out there because you don’t want to make yourself look an idiot.
“But at no point did he think ‘that’s not right’ – that’s what worried me a little bit. I understand we get three-game bans now, but I just want to know whether the FA are educating players when they come to this country.
“I don’t think he’s meant it to insult anyone, but he needs to be educated on what is acceptable and what isn’t.”
This season, the FA made three-match bans standard protocol for those found guilty of charges relating to racial or discriminatory language.
That move came after Bernardo Silva’s post last season, which compared Benjamin Mendy to a cartoon figure from a Spanish chocolate brand.
Deeney wants further punishment
Asked if the three-match ban would be enough for Cavani, though, Deeney said: “No, I don’t think it is. It’s a considered post. He’s written it out, thought about it, and he’s got people around him who would say, ‘I don’t think you should really do that’.
“He’s probably acted in a moment of happiness, obviously after scoring, that’s why I don’t take it as he meant offence by it, he just hasn’t understood the ramifications of his words.
“I do think at times three games isn’t enough, because it’s got to be three games with a form of education in my opinion. There needs to be an understanding that these words hurt people and the reasons why they hurt people.”