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Xavier Arreaga, an Ecuadorian defender for the Seattle Sounders, came under fire last week after sharing a political cartoon showing a television effectively brainwashing children while parents appear to be silenced and held against the wall.
The initial post, which was shared on the soccer player’s Instagram Stories from the account of Christian rapper Redimi2, appeared to try to illustrate the media’s effect on children when it comes to gender identity. Rainbow-colored waves are seen entering the children's brains.
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Arreaga would later delete the post and shared an apology message on his own account but not before he was labeled as homophobic among other things, according to 770 KTTH Radio.
“Dear fans – last night I reported a post of a famous Christian artist in my Instagram stories which at the time seemed normal to me and without thinking that the image was going to cause and hurt the people of our community, which never it was my intention. I want to express that I respect the way of life and thinking of all people. Thank you.”
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Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer spoke about Arreaga on Wednesday and said he would sit down with Arreaga to tell him what he posted “wasn’t correct.”
“I don’t agree with it at all,” Schmetzer said about the cartoon, via The Seattle Times. “From a club standpoint, a lot of people were hurt about that Instagram post and they have a right to be hurt. Xavi apologized, and when he comes back I will have a good conversation with him and try to help him out, and then we also, within the club, have a really good social-equity network.
“He’ll sit down with them and talk things through and just make sure he understands what he said wasn’t correct.”
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Arreaga was training with the Ecuadorian national team and has been away from the Sounders. Ecuador plays Japan on Tuesday for a World Cup tune-up match.