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Instagram Post Lands Soccer Star Mario Balotelli In Hot Water

Super Mario gets soccer star Mario into trouble.

Yian Kourt/ Shutterstock

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past decade, here’s a timely reminder: Your social media activity can get you into trouble.

Soccer star Mario Balotelli, who plays for Liverpool in the English Premier League, is learning that the hard way following an inappropriate Instagram post he shared to his 2.1 million followers on Monday. The post featured the popular “Don’t Be, Racist! Be Like Mario!” meme, which depicts the videogame character Super Mario alongside a couple of racial stereotypes.

On Tuesday, Balotelli removed the image and apologized on Twitter, but he’s not out of the woods just yet. On Friday, the Football Association, England’s governing body for soccer, charged him with breaking the organization’s rules, including sharing a post that is “abusive and/or insulting and/or improper.”

Balotelli may face a temporary five-game ban as punishment, according to Deadspin, but it’s also possible that his punishment is greater.

The New York Times reported that Balotelli was already on thin ice when he signed with Liverpool in August, because of previous behavioral problems. He was essentially on probation, the report continued, which means that his future with the team may now be in jeopardy.

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