Monday, October 2, 2023

Osimhen speaks on controversial TikTok videos; says Naples people not racist

In response to the penalty miss, a video many considered disrespectful was posted on Napoli’s TikTok page.

• October 1, 2023
Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen

Forward Victor Osimhen says nothing can come between him and the people of Naples in his first statement since the controversial videos mocking the footballer were published on Napoli’s TikTok account almost a week ago.

“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 Super Eagle said in a statement.

The incident occurred a day after Napoli were held to a goalless draw by Bologna, a game in which Osimhen missed a crucial penalty. In response to the penalty miss, a video many considered disrespectful was posted on Napoli’s TikTok page.

The first video showed the forward begging (“gimme penalty please”) to take the spot kick before the clip transitioned to him latching the ball wide of the post. 

Another video which circulated contained sped-up audio comparing Osimhen’s head to coconut, with critics saying it contains racial undertones.

In response to the videos, the player’s agent, Roberto Calenda, condemned Napoli’s action and threatened to take legal proceedings against the club. 

Subsequently, obviously unhappy with the TikTok videos, Osimhen purged his Instagram page of all pictures of himself wearing Napoli’s shirt except one.

Adding to his statement, Osimhen dismissed the notion that the people of Naples are racists, which some have floated on social media. He reiterated his love for Napoli while appreciating the support he received from Nigerians and everyone.

“The passion of the People of Naples fuels my fire to always play with my heart and soul, and the love for the badge is unwavering as I wear it with pride.

“The accusations against the 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 lending their voices to support and reach out to me. Thanks so much, I’m forever grateful,” he added.

Meanwhile, Napoli’s social media executive, Alessio Fortino, has resigned from his position at the club in the aftermath of the scandal – “today, after 805 days, my professional adventure with SSC Naples ends,” he said in a statement posted on Instagram.

According to reports, Fortino is not the author of the videos but has decided to take full responsibility for the incident – the author of the videos is said to have gone to apologise to Osimhen personally.

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