Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina is at the centre of a race row in Spain after a television advert he featured in was pulled from air last night.
The stopper appears in an advert for Spanish insurance company Groupama where he is chosen as a partner by a black tribal chief. The ad is meant to be humorous as Reina translates into ‘Queen’ in English, so the tribal ‘King’ chooses his ‘Queen’.
But British group Operation Black Vote has hit out at the advert claiming it is racially insensitive and this has forced the ad to be pulled. Here are quotes from Director Simon Woolley the OBV website:
I’m shocked on so many levels. Firstly, how would the Spanish feel if the English stereotyped Spanish people as backward, stupid, and animalistic homosexuals? Secondly, what does this say about Pepe Reina? The Liverpool goalkeeper has lived and worked in the UK for nearly a decade, does he think it’s ok characterise Black people this way? Does he think his Black team mates will laugh at his joke?”
Watch the advert below. Is it racially insensitive? Or just a bit of fun?