The Nigerian international, Victor Osimhen, has apologised for his outburst over the weekend when he described Nigerian journalists as “copy and paste.”
In his Twitter rant, the Napoli FC forward said “thunder should fire” the journalists for reporting his comment following his much-publicised move from France to Italy.
The media had quoted Osimhen as saying he would love to emulate Napoli legend, the Argentine Diego Maradona, who won several trophies during his seven years at the Naples club.
Though quotes from the story were attributed to the top German news outlet S1, Osimhen claimed he had not granted any interview since the death of his father.
He wrote, “I never said such a thing, y’all copy paste journalist just like to fabricate lies, since the passing of my late father I haven’t grant any interview whatsoever, stop this nonsense else na thunder go fire una..”
Moments after the outburst, the 21-year-old apologised for his use of the language, although he failed to delete the post.
“As much as I dislike being misquoted or taken out of context by the media, I want to apologise to @MobilePunch and other journalists that felt offended for the type of language I used in my earlier post, sorry about it, make una no vex I still be una boy…peace Red heart.
Reacting to this development and other attacks on journalists, Debo Oshundun, the president of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Lagos branch, told newsmen the media and athletes should be partners in progress and not be seen going for each other’s jugular at the slightest chance.
He said: “This is not the first time this such of thing is happening, I think these players and athletes need to have media advisers, they should not be doing things the way they are, even if there are issues they want corrected. You hardly see things like these from foreign players because they really value the media and their impact.”
He added: “Over the years, it is these same journalists that project the athletes to stardom, but surprisingly once they are up there, the first enemy they have are the journalists.
“It’s not just sports even in politics and across other beats, you see this same attitude being meted out to journalists.”
Mr. Oshundun admitted that media are by no means perfect as they also have their side of the bargain to be fulfilled.
He said: “I will also want to appeal to my colleagues to always put a demarcation between their professional work and friendship with these players.
“They should always strive to get their facts right as some of the things, they write also causes damage to these athletes.
“The players need the journalists and vice versa, without journalists, it’s like you are winking in the dark, nobody sees what you’re doing.”