A private high school in Urawa, Saitama Prefecture, has apologized for racist tweets targeting Gamba Osaka’s black Brazilian striker Patric posted by a male student over the weekend.
Urawagakuin High School, in a statement posted on its website Monday night, said it felt responsible for not being able to prevent the racially abusive comments against the soccer player.
In one of the tweets, the student posted under an anonymous name, “Drop dead, black man,” after the Urawa Reds, which he said he was a fan of, lost to Gamba in the J-League Championship on Saturday.
The tweets have since been deleted.
“We have taught that discrimination of all forms is absolutely not permissible,” the school’s statement read. “We have also taught our students the risks of social networking services and instructed them never to slander anyone or quote other people’s comments without permission. . . . We will take this incident gravely and promote human rights education.”
The Urawa Reds, meanwhile, said Monday that the boy has apologized through the school, quoting him as saying he posted the tweet while watching the game at home. The boy told the school he had watched Reds games at Saitama Stadium, the team’s home stadium, once or twice a year.
The J-League said it will not discipline the Urawa Reds for the tweet, saying the comment took place outside the stadium.
In an incident last year, the J-League ordered Urawa to play a home match against Shimizu S-Pulze behind closed doors as punishment for another fan’s behavior.
Playing at home to Sagan Tosu on March 8, 2014, the Reds allowed a banner that read, “Japanese Only” to be displayed in Saitama Stadium and did not remove it until after the game.