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Heung-min Son issues statement on racist comment from Tottenham teammate Rodrigo Bentancur

Heung-min Son issues a statement on receiving a racist comment from fellow Tottenham teammate Rodrigo Bentancur.

The Spurs midfielder made the slur against Son, which led to a public apology from Bentancur and a statement from the club.

The club has committed to providing diversity, equality, and inclusion training for all players with Son accepting the apology, emphasising that it has not affected their relationship and that they are united as a team.

The club’s response and the handling of the situation have been generally well-received, with a focus on education and unity moving forward.

Heung-min Son issues statement on racist comment from Tottenham teammate Rodrigo Bentancur

Heung-min Son said via an Instagram story that he has accepted an apology from Rodrigo Bentancur and now wants to draw a line under it all.

In footage which had gone viral shared on social media, originally broadcast on Uruguayan Television programme Por La Camiseta, Bentancur suggests that all people from South Korea ‘looked the same’.

Host Rafa Cotelo had asked Bentancur if he could get his hands on a Tottenham player’s shirt, to which he is heard replying, ‘Sonny’s?, adding: ‘It could be Sonny’s cousin too as they all look the same.’

This led to huge anger with Bentancur, who has been teammates with the South Korea international for the last three years, taking to Instagram to apologise for his comments.

‘Sonny brother! I apologise to you for what happened,’ Bentancur wrote in a message on his Instagram story.

‘It was just a very bad joke.’

‘You know I love you and I would never disrespect you or hurt you or anyone else! I love you, brother!’

But Rodrigo’s comment in the interview led to Kick It Out getting complaints, with Tottenham and the Premier League issuing a statement.

Also on Thursday (20 June), Son revealed he had spoken with Bentancur and stressed that the pair were ‘still brothers’.

‘I’ve spoken with Lolo. He made a mistake, he knows this and has apologised,’ Son wrote.

‘Lolo would not mean to ever intentionally say something offensive. We are brothers and nothing has changed at all.

‘We’re past this, we’re united, and we will be back together in pre-season to fight for our club as one.’

Meanwhile, Tottenham said they would be providing ‘further education’ for their players regarding matters of ‘diversity, equality and inclusion’ going forward after being made aware of the racist comment.

‘Following a comment from Rodrigo Bentancur in an interview video clip and the player’s subsequent public apology, the club has been providing assistance in ensuring a positive outcome on the matter,’ a statement from the club read.

‘This will include further education for all players in line with our diversity, equality and inclusion objectives.

‘We fully support that our captain Sonny feels that he can draw a line under the incident and that the team can focus on the new season ahead.

‘We are extremely proud of our diverse, global fanbase and playing squads. discrimination of any kind has no place at our club, within our game or within wider society.’

A statement from the league read: “The Premier League and our clubs are committed to tackling all forms of discrimination.

“We will continue to support clubs, players and staff in taking action against discriminatory abuse #NoRoomForRacism”


Kick It Out acknowledged Bentancur’s apology towards Heung-min Son in a post on their official Twitter account, tweeting: “Kick It Out has received a significant number of reports about Rodrigo Bentancur’s comments regarding his Tottenham team-mate Son Heung-min.

“These reports have already been sent to the club and relevant authorities. We recognise Bentancur has acknowledged the offence caused, however it highlights a wider issue that heavily affects East Asian and wider communities. We’ll be seeking to address these broader issues in the coming season.”

SpursWeb gave their thoughts on it: “These type of comments are never welcome and with Tottenham heading to South Korea for two fixtures in their pre-season tour next month, the timing could not be worse.

“Tottenham work hard to try to stamp out any discrimination and when it comes from a player, it certainly promotes the club in a negative light.

“Whether Bentancur will be part of the tour could depend on how far Uruguay are able to progress in the Copa America which begins on Friday.”

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