Manchester City star Bernardo Silva defended himself by saying you "can't even joke with a friend these days" after being forced to delete a racist tweet about his teammate Benjamin Mendy.
Silva, 25, posted an image on Sunday which pictured a young Mendy alongside the controversial mascot for Spanish chocolate brand, Conguitos.
"Guess Who?" the since-deleted tweet from Silva read.
Kick It Out, an anti-racism charity, tweeted to say "racist stereotypes are never acceptable as 'banter,' and we're shocked that someone who is a role model to millions has failed to understand the discriminatory nature of his post."
Mendy responded to the tweet saying: "1-0, for you will see."
Silva received backlash from twitter users for the post, however refused to apologize, merely tweeting again saying: "Can't even joke with a friend these days … You guys …"
The Portugal international's actions prompted the Football Association (FA) to contact Manchester City, according to the BBC, and also elicited a response from anti-racism charity Kick It Out, who said it was "shocked" and "extremely disappointed" with Silva's "joke."
Read more: A Romanian TV-show host has been accused of 'extreme racism' after saying on air that Serena Williams looks 'like one of those monkeys at the zoo'
The Conguitos mascot was designed by publicist Juan Tudela Ferez in the 1970s, according to the brand's official website.
The original design was that of a spear-wielding black figure with big red lips, however it has since been slightly altered in an effort to move away from the racist connotations that came with it.
Nevertheless, the design remains controversial, and Ferez has since said he regrets his creation.
"Things must be judged in their time and context," Ferez told El Periodico in 2003.
"Today I would not have drawn it that way. I would not go on the market with that image and that name without having passed some essential tests before."
Business Insider has contacted Conguitos for comment.
Silva and Mendy have been teammates at Manchester City since 2017, and previously played for AS Monaco together during the 2016-2017 season, where they helped the French side win Ligue 1.
Alex Morgan says 'there's too much evidence to cover up' the rape allegation against Cristiano Ronaldo
Simone Biles broke her silence over her brother's triple-murder charge, calling the shooting a 'tragedy'
PETA has urged the UFC to 'evaluate its relationship' with Khabib Nurmagomedov after 'loathsome' footage resurfaced showing him fighting a chained-up bear