Romelu Lukaku has weighed in on the H&M racism row after the Swedish clothing giant produced a controversial advert featuring a black child model in a hoodie bearing the quote "Coolest monkey in the jungle".
The ad was widely criticised for being racist, including by Canadian pop star The Weeknd, who collaborated with H&M, the world's second-largest clothing group, on two collections in 2017.
On Instagram, the Manchester United superstar posted a photo-shopped version of the controversial slogan to read "Black Is Beautiful".
In the caption, the striker wrote, “You’re prince soon to be a king Don’t let anybody tell you different ... #blackexcellence "
Several of his 2.3 million followers praised his "powerful message".
@hm u got us all wrong! And we ain't going for it! Straight up! Enough about y'all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied! We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that's what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!! #LiveLaughLove?? #LoveMyPeople????????????????????????????????????
H&M withdraws 'monkey' hoodie
H&M on Tuesday said it had withdrawn from sale a green hoodie with the inscription "coolest monkey in the jungle" after an ad featuring a black child triggered racism accusations.
The company apologised on its Twitter account and said it would investigate the online shopping ad which sparked outrage among observers on social media.
"We've not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering," the group said.
"We understand that many people are upset about the children's hoodie."
NBA superstar LeBron James on Tuesday was the latest public figure to slam the brand.
"@hm u got us all wrong! And we ain't going for it! Straight up!" James said in an Instagram post which included a photo of the same ad, but with a crown superimposed on the boy's head, and the text on the hooded sweater replaced by a crown.
"Enough about y'all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied!" the athlete said.
"We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong," James added.
Style blogger Stephanie Yeboah tweeted on Sunday: "You do know that monkey is a known racial slur to black people right?"
H&M is one of several major companies to be hit by an advertisement scandal in recent years.
In October last year, skincare brand Dove apologised after it was accused of racism for airing a commercial showing a black woman turning into a white woman after removing her top.
And Spanish clothing brand Zara in 2014 removed a striped pyjamas with a yellow star after facing outrage over its resemblance to clothes worn by Jewish prisoners in concentration camps.