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Juventus women tweet racist photo and apologize: it was “not meant to provoke controversy”

The Juventus Women’s team’s Twitter account shared a since-deleted racist note, accompanied by an image which she said was “not intended to cause controversy or have racial overtones.”

On Thursday, the official Twitter account of the Turin, Italy-based women’s football club tweeted a snapshot of a player appearing to wear an orange football cone above her head while pulling the corners of her eyes. The gesture and the gaze of the cone evoke racist Asian stereotypes.

The tweet was also captioned with a laughing emoji and two hands to signify the eye-catching gesture.

It remained on the account page for over 20 minutes before being deleted, leaving enough time for the internet to capture it and go viral.

After its deletion, the group released a statement to the account apologizing “sincerely” and insisting that Juventus “have always been against racism and discrimination”, adding the hashtag “#DifferencesMakeTheDifference”.

The apology did not explain where the image came from or how it was “not meant to spark controversy or have racial overtones” when such a gesture is inherently racist. Juventus told HuffPost they have no further comment.

The tweet comes amid a wave of violence against the Asian community and a proliferation of anti-Asian sentiments during the coronavirus pandemic.

In response, many people on Twitter, especially those from Asian communities, spoke out against Juventus’ tweet and apology:

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