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Manchester City Superstar Ake Ruud Defends Fans Criticized For Blackface, Legend Reportedly Says It’s An Honor

Dutch soccer player Nathan Ake spoke out on an incident involving Netherlands fans allegedly wearing blackface to emulate former soccer legend Ruud Gullit, according to Sport Bible.

The issue came about during Sunday’s Euro 2024 opening match, Sport Bible reported. A group of three fans wearing orange shirts from the 1988 Euros win dressed up as Gullit with their faces painted a darker, according to the outlet. They were also reportedly sporting fake dreadlocks and mustaches to emulate the soccer player. (RELATED: One Of World’s Highest Paid Athletes Breaks His Nose During Big Tournament: REPORT)

This display reportedly led to accusations of racism against the men; however, Gullit indicated earlier he was not offended by the costumes, according to the outlet.

Ake, when asked about the blackface issue, defended the men, reportedly becoming the first Dutch player to do so.

“I don’t see a problem. Can I be honest here? These topics are getting out of hand. We should be allowing things like this to happen,” the Manchester City defender told reporters, according to the outlet.

“Ruud Gullit already said he finds it an honor too. Let’s stop making a problem out of things like this,” Ake added.

One of the fans who dressed as Gullit has reportedly done the same at other soccer matches. He would stop wearing the costume, however, to avoid “a certain unpleasant association,” the outlet reported.

Gullit said he was “quite honored” by the costume, according to The Mirror.

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