Spanish newspaper journalist apologizes after racist remark about Barcelona’s Ansu Fati

Spanish journalist Salvador Sostres has apologized and denied any racist intent after comparing Barcelona football star Ansu Fati to a “young, black street vendor” running away from the police through the Catalan city’s streets.

Fati’s Barcelona teammate Antoine Griezmann posted the section of the ABC article on his Twitter page, sparking an outcry on social media.

In his apology in a post on ABC website, Sostres said in his “desire to praise the beauty of Ansu’s movements and his class as a very young player, some expressions were taken as a racist contempt.”

“Nothing is further from my intention, nor from my opinion, [I’m] very favorable to the player as I have expressed in all my reports since he debuted,” Sostres wrote. “I am deeply sorry for the misunderstanding and I apologize to anyone who may have been offended.”

In his Twitter post condemning the publication, Griezmann said: “Ansu is an exceptional kid who deserves respect like any human being. No to racism and no to rudeness.”

READ: Ansu Fati breaks 95-year record to become Spain’s youngest ever scorer

A Barcelona club source told CNN that the team originally planned to take legal action against the journalist, but following the apology, the club’s legal department is considering how to proceed. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity, in keeping with the club’s rules about official statements to the media.

CNN Sport has reached out to Fati and Sostres, but neither were immediately available for comment.

Fati has been a bright spot in Barcelona’s season so far, cementing his place as the club’s top goalscorer with his fourth of the campaign in the 5-1 win over Ferencvaros on Tuesday.

The teenager also made history as Spain youngest ever goalscorer during the recent international break.