Tennis Player Uses Gorilla Emoji to Apologize for LeBron James Post

Tennis Star Apologizes For LeBron James Post With Gorilla Emoji

Bron is “my biggest inspiration,” according to Matteo Berrettini, who claims he was unaware of the racial overtones.

Emojis are often used in place of words to describe oneself these days, but an Italian tennis star got into issue with the public after using one in his Instagram Story. With seven titles under his belt and a Top 10 ranking, Matteo Berrettini is a tennis superstar. However, Berrettini recently received criticism for a post praising LeBron James rather than for his skills.

The athlete posted a picture of James sporting a Drew League shirt and included the gorilla and crown emojis. Although it appeared that he was paying tribute to the basketball player, many were quick to note the historically discriminatory associations between apes and Black people.

On social media, Berrettini’s followers and adversaries engaged in hours-long debates as his critics accused him of racism and his defenders refuted the claims. Berrettini apologized and said he had no idea there was a connection to racism when he returned.

He wrote, “I am deeply sorry if my earlier narrative post offended anyone. “I erased it after learning that it may be easily misunderstood. My favorite athlete is Lebron. incredible inspiration and role model

James has been in the spotlight for similar controversies before; years ago, Vogue magazine was accused of utilizing the NBA legend’s cover feature to mimic a King Kong poster. Ongoing discussions on social media center on whether Berrettini ought to have expressed regret.