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06th Jan 2019

Andres Iniesta faces backlash after appearing in blackface Christmas photo

James Dawson

Two men appear to be made up in blackface in the image

Andres Iniesta has faced a social media backlash after posting a photo of him and his family that appears to show two men wearing blackface.

The image was posted by the former Barcelona player to Twitter on Sunday 6 January, the day that Spaniards traditionally celebrate Christmas.

In the photo, a number of people are seen dressed as various nativity character, with the two of them playing the story’s kings appearing to be made up in blackface. Iniesta added three crown emojis and star emojis as the post’s caption.

French international Antoine Griezmann faced a similar backlash last year after he attended an 80s themed fancy dress party in head-to-toe blackface in order to portray a Harlem Globetrotter.

Explaining previously why blackface makeup is considered racist, Huffington Post reporter Julia Craven previously wrote: “The history of blackface is complex, but it’s inescapably rooted in the notion that black folks are inherently less than white people, and that they shouldn’t be allowed to portray themselves onstage. While you may think it’s harmless to paint yourself black for Halloween, it’s not. This is the tradition you’re joining, whether or not you know it.

“Once you’re done masquerading as a black person – employing the same techniques used not just to belittle the black experience, but to prop up the systemic subjugation of the entire race – you get to remove the colour from your skin. Black people do not have this luxury. We cannot wash our blackness from ourselves, nor can we eliminate all the stereotypes and all the forms of oppression that come with it.”

Iniesta currently plays for Japanese club Vissel Kobe after retiring from Barcelona at the end of last season. He is yet to comment on the reaction to the image.

Here is how Twitter reacted to the post: