A Spanish TV commercial featuring Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina has been taken off air following complaints the advertisement was racist and homophobic.
Reina, whose surname means ‘queen’ in Spanish, was shown being introduced to a tribal chief who chooses him as his partner in the advert. British campaign group Operation Black Vote complained to Spanish insurance firm Groupama Seguros that one advert from a series featuring Reina “depicts black people in a jungle scenario as stupid, backward, animalistic homosexuals.”
Groupama, however, have also said they do not believe it “contains either offensive nor any discriminatory content”, according to the campaigners.
“I’m shocked on so many levels,” OBV director Simon Woolley said. “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 okay to characterise black people this way? Does he think his black team-mates will laugh at his joke?”