Argentina captain Pablo Matera has revealed that his family members have been subjected to “malicious messages” after racist tweets made by the Pumas flanker in the past came to light.
Matera was found to have made racist tweets in 2011 and 2012, resulting in him being stripped of the Argentine captaincy, as well as being suspended from the team.
His Argentina team mates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino were also suspended after being found to have made similar offensive tweets between 2011 and 2013.
🗨️ “Certes il s’est excusé, mais maintenant il a la vie devant lui pour joindre les actes à la parole”@TitiDusautoir revient sur l’interview du capitaine des Pumas Pablo Matera dans le #CRC. pic.twitter.com/7KQ1A9keUa
— Canal Rugby Club (@CanalRugbyClub) December 20, 2020
Those decisions were later reversed by the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) but Matera has understandably recieved a lot of negative attention about his social media posts regardless.
‘I was an immature boy’
The Stade Francais player revealed in an interview with French TV channel Canal Plus, that his family have been ‘involved in the horrible situation’.
“I imagine there are a lot of people who have felt offended, hurt and I would like to ask their forgiveness.
“It was a really bad use of social media with my friends from high school. I just want to let people know that I don’t believe any of these words, that they do not represent my values in any way.
“At the time of these tweets, I was an immature boy, quite a rebellious boy. I was not an easy child to raise for my mother. A lot of time has passed, and when I look back I see how much I have grown as a person.
“This is what made me suffer the most, to have involuntarily involved [my family] in this horrible situation.
“The most important thing for me today is to know that I made a mistake. Today, I just ask for forgiveness and move on,” Matera said.
The Pumas flanker has yet to make an appearance for Stade Francais since his return from international duty.