Allegations of racism abound.
Not quite a month in to their official relationship, Konami has denounced its once official ambassador of all things Yugs, Antoine Griezman, after ESPN surfaced a video of Griezman and a teammate apparently mocking Asian hotel staff.
In response to the video, Konami released a terse statement condemning the contents of the video, saying: “[p]reviously we had announced Antoine Griezmann as our Yu-Gi-Oh! contents ambassador, however in light of recent events we have decided to cancel the contract.”
Another video surfaced soon later with Griezmann himself mocking Asian languages and making onomatopoeic sounds that otherwise don’t translate from his native language of French. Liftoff! has chosen not to link either video but has reviewed them with bilingual members of our team.
Konami has since scrubbed all references to Griezmann from their social media accounts.
Griezmann’s sponsorship was quizzical from the outset. In a now private YouTube interview with Lithium2300 it was apparent his knowledge of the game was largely limited to early anime arcs, with Kotaku‘s reporting of the initial announcement highlighting Griezman’s inability to answer questions about the TCG.
Konami risks further embarrassment as the publisher of the PES franchise of football games. They’re demanding a response from FC Barcelona with respect to these interactions.
“With regard to our eFootball PES franchise, we will be requesting FC Barcelona as a club partner to explain the details of this case and its future actions.”
Griezmann denies the comments made were racist while stating that he stands against all forms of discrimination.
To learn more about acts of racism against Asian American Pacific Islander communities, please visit stopaapihate.org