Griezmann backtracks over 'insensitive' blackface tweet

FILE - A Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 file photo of Atletico's Antoine Griezmann greeting fans after the 1-1 draw in the Champions League Group C soccer match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge stadium in London. Griezmann has apologized after posting an image of himself on social media in blackface as part of an NBA party costume on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

MADRID — Soccer star Antoine Griezmann has apologized for any offense caused after posting an image of himself on social media in blackface as part of an NBA party costume on Sunday.

Griezmann, who is white, was also wearing a wig and holding a basketball in the photo which had "NBA 69 ALLSTARS" on the jersey.

The photo on his official Twitter account was accompanied by the message "80's Party" followed by basketball and laughing emojis.

One response called the photo a "bad idea" with others urging the France forward to delete the tweet.

Griezmann at first reacted to the criticism by tweeting: "Calm down friends, I'm a fan of the Harlem Globetrotters and of this great era... It's a tribute."

He later tweeted an apology to those he had offended.

"I recognize that's it's insensitive on my part. If I offended some people I'm sorry," he wrote.

The 26-year-old Griezmann plays for Spanish team Atletico Madrid but has been linked to a move to Barcelona.

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