Black Footballers Call Out Media for Mistaking Them for Player Accused of Rape

“For some, Black people have neither names nor distinct faces,” Chelsea and Senegal goalkeeper Édouard Mendy wrote on Instagram after his photo was used to illustrate articles about Benjamin Mendy, who is charged with six counts of rape.
Black Footballers Complain About Being Confused With Player Accused of Rape
Benjamin Mendy (left) and Édouard Mendy (right). Photos: Visionhaus/Getty Images and Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images.

Two Black football stars have complained about their photos being mistakenly used to illustrate stories about another footballer charged with rape.

Goalkeeper Édouard Mendy, who plays for Chelsea in the Premier League and the Senegal national team, used his Instagram stories to highlight how several media outlets including French public radio broadcaster RFI and newspaper Le Parisien had used his photo and that of his cousin Ferland Mendy in articles about Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy. Ferland Mendy, who plays for the France national team and Real Madrid, reposted his cousin’s post on his own stories and on Twitter.


Benjamin Mendy, a defender who also plays for France and is no relation to Édouard or Ferland, was charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault in August. The 27-year-old appeared in court yesterday where he was accused of two further counts of rape. He has not entered a plea but his lawyer says he denies the charges.

“Sad to see that in 2021, in France as well as in England, for some, Black people have neither names nor distinct faces,” Édouard Mendy wrote on Instagram alongside several screenshots of media articles with incorrect photos.

“These mistakes of photos appear anecdotal, but actually they are quite the opposite, they are highly symbolic,” he continued.

“It’s not that complicated to differentiate two faces, especially when the football jersey is of valuable help.”

Benjamin Mendy has been in custody since August. He has been suspended by his club pending an investigation, and is due to go on trial in January.