Have you ever said something you regretted in the heat of the moment? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé during the club’s tour of Japan in 2019. Unfortunately for them, their unflattering comments were caught on camera and posted online, causing quite a stir. And just when Barcelona thought things couldn’t get any worse, their apology ended up causing more trouble than it solved.
Lost in Translation
Barcelona issued an apology in both English and Japanese to address the incident. However, it seems that they fumbled their way through the Japanese translation. In the opening sentence, instead of simply saying “FC Barcelona deeply regrets,” the sentence got muddled with an unnecessary repetition of “FC Barcelona.” While it may seem like a minor mistake at first glance, it didn’t go unnoticed by the meticulous Japanese netizens. And you know how they say, “the devil is in the details.”
The Japanese fans, known for their adherence to formality, were less than impressed with the sloppy apology. Social media was abuzz, with the Japanese FC Barcelona account taking the heat while the main English account remained silent. The supporters were seeking not just an explanation but a direct apology to the offended hotel staff who had borne the brunt of the players’ disrespectful comments.
The apology in English is correct.
But the Japanese version has the additional word “FC Barcelona” written on it.
The Power of Apologizing
In Japan, apologies carry immense weight. It’s a deeply ingrained cultural practice that demonstrates respect and accountability. To put things into perspective, a Japanese esports player once spent a whole 7 minutes apologizing after losing a Puyo Puyo tournament. In such a context, a half-hearted or insincere apology is simply unacceptable.
The Consequences Unfold
As the backlash grew, the consequences began to unfold. Konami, the renowned gaming company, promptly canceled its contract with Griezmann, one of the players involved in the incident. Griezmann, now stripped of his global ambassadorship for the Yu-Gi-Oh brand, found himself in hot water with Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of Rakuten, one of Barcelona’s major sponsors. The situation spiraled out of control, and the players had to face the repercussions of their actions.
It’s clear that Barcelona’s blunder extended beyond mere misspellings. It highlighted a lack of attention to detail and cultural sensitivity. Apologies hold significance, especially in a society that places great value on them. It’s a lesson for both the club and its players to be more mindful of their actions and words, both on and off the field.
Remember, it’s not just about saying sorry; it’s about meaning it.
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