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Camilo Zuniga Apologetic For Neymar Back Injury, Has Received Death Threats

The fallout from Camilo Zuniga knocking Neymar out of the World Cup, and likely part of the upcoming club season as well, has already ratcheted up to death threats and obscene racism despite his repeated apologies.

Buda Mendes

Despite managing to beat a Colombia side that was well up for the occasion to reach the World Cup semi-finals, Brazil may be all but done in the tournament after losing Neymar to a broken vertebra in his back.

The injury was inflicted by a hard challenge from Camilo Zuniga, as the Napoli defender hit Neymar from behind and ultimately kneed the attacker in his lower back trying to win the ball back for Colombia. It certainly didn't like he was intentionally trying to hurt Neymar, more like he was going all-out for his side in a World Cup knockout match.

For his part, Zuniga has expressed his apologies and remorse several times, telling reporters after the match that he "didn't mean" to hurt Neymar, and that he does "everything to defend [his] team [...], but never with the intent of harming anyone."

Zuniga also issued an apology through his Instagram account, attempting to address the situation and reconcile with Neymar directly:

I’d like to say that I deeply regret the sad Neymar injury suffered during the game between Brazil and Colombia. Although I feel this was a normal situation in a game, which had no ill intent, malice or negligence on my part, I want to send a special message to Neymar. I admire, respect and consider you one of the best players in the world. I hope your recovery is fast, that you come back soon so that we can continue encouraging football as a sport full of virtues and qualities I’ve always put into practice during my 12 years as a professional player.

Sadly, most people aren't terribly rational about such matters, and Zuniga's Twitter and Instagram accounts have since been inundated with death threats, threats of assault, some absolutely obscene examples of racism, and other messages beyond counting of a generally negative nature. The response, while sadly predictable, is completely unjustified in any way, and is yet another example of just how far we still have to come as a society.

For what it's worth, we here at The Siren's Song wish Neymar a speedy and uncomplicated recovery.