Liverpool are at the center of another race storm after their goalkeeper Pepe Reina appeared in a Spanish TV commercial that has been taken off the air following allegations that it was racist and homophobic.
The commercial for Spanish insurance firm Groupama Seguros shows Reina in several supposedly frightening scenarios in which he claims to feel safe.
The last scene shows Reina in a jungle surrounded by a black tribe, which British anti-racism campaigners Operation Black Vote said depicts black people in a jungle scenario as stupid, backward, animalistic homosexuals, according to Fox News.
In a play on Reina's name in Spanish, meaning queen, the tribal leader in the commercial then says You Queen, me King. Implying that this is an alarming situation. Reina then says I feel safe, la la la.
A portrayal that is unacceptable, according to the OBV.
Firstly, how would the Spanish feel if the English stereotyped Spanish people as backward, stupid, and animalistic homosexuals? OBV director Simon Wooley said.
Secondly, what does this say about Pepe Reina?
The Liverpool goalkeeper has lived and worked in the UK for nearly a decade, does he think it's okay to characterise black people this way?
Does he think his black teammates will laugh at his joke?
Groupama, however, denied the claims and said that the ad was not taken off the air as a result of suggestions that it was racist and homophobic.
The Spanish division of Groupama does not consider that it has any type of offensive content, a spokeswoman said, according to AFP.
It is a humorous line that we have been developing for two campaigns, including with other goalkeepers such as (Iker) Casillas.
There was no intention to hurt anyone's feelings.
The advert is no longer on television but not because we pulled it but rather because the campaign was planned for February 2-29 and it has already ended.
This news comes at a bad time for Liverpool, who's striker Luis Suarez was found guilty at the end of last year of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. Liverpool and their manager Kenny Dalglish faced severe criticism for continuing to support Suarez throughout the saga.