From the Telegraph:
Mario Balotelli, the Liverpool striker, faces a Football Association investigation and possible five-match ban for an inflammatory social media message that has earned him a public rebuke from his club and an angry response from the Jewish Leadership Council.
Balotelli posted and then swiftly deleted an image on his Instagram page depicting the computer game character ‘Super Mario’ alongside a racial stereotype and anti-Semitic remark – “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew”.
Simon Johnson, the former FA executive and now chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council reacted angrily to post on Monday night.
“We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found,” Johnson said. “We call upon the FA to investigate this offensive social media post and to take action if appropriate if we are to succeed in kicking racism out of football.”
The provocative language in Balotelli’s post, even if he claims it to be an ironic anti-racist message, leaves the Italian open to a breach of the FA’s social media guidelines. If charged, the minimum ban on race-related breaches is five games.
If you follow Mario Balotelli on Instagram you can understand why he made this mistake. He likes to have fun with his Instagram. Most of his posts are jokes and funny pictures. These various posts have helped him become one of the more entertaining athletes on Instagram. However, he is also not the brightest crayon in the box when it comes to censoring himself. Athletes are held to a different standard than normal citizens. Joe Shmoe could have posted this and gotten a few laughs but Mario Balotelli doesn’t have the same luxury. Soccer players of his caliber are held to a different standard. Balotelli’s past is littered with people being racist towards him so in all likelihood he never meant this in a racist manner. Nevertheless, it was stupid because the joke wasn’t even worth it. He might have gotten a few laughs but the inevitable outcome was most likely outrage. After all the problems he has had in his career and during his time at Liverpool there was no reason for him to point the spotlight on himself when he’s out with a groin injury. It was stupid. Can he just not survive without being in the spotlight, whether it for positive or negative reasons? When a player attracts this much controversy it is hard to keep assuming it is an accident or coincidence.