A German journalist has insisted he did not intend to offend or discriminate against Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after using the phrase "monkey circus" to describe the Borussia Dortmund star's behaviour.
Aubameyang has had a number of run-ins with the Dortmund board in recent months and angered fans by repeatedly talking up his admiration for other clubs - most notably Real Madrid.
Speaking about the forward's actions on Kicker.tv, the publication's chief reporter Karlheinz Wild said: "I cannot imagine that Aubameyang could stage the same monkey circus in Munich as he does in Dortmund."
The term 'monkey circus' best translates into English as referring to someone who has been indulged in their attention-seeking behaviour.
However, writing in a post on Instagram, the Gabon international took issue with Wild's choice of words.
In addition to an article featuring Wild's remarks, Aubameyang posted a screengrab of a Google search for the word 'Affenzirkus' (monkey circus), which generated among its results an image of an ape wearing a swastika armband and giving a Nazi salute.
Aubameyang wrote: "These days German journalists are attacking me, while remaining correct until today. I think this reporter could have used another word [than] "affenzirkus… Circus of Monkey"… on the right side of the picture, that is when I tap on Google [for] affenzirkus . I leave you to judge!! 2018 …sorry for my English."
In a statement issued by Kicker on Sunday, Wild said: "It never was my intention to offend or discriminate against Aubameyang… in any way.
"I wanted with this common and not negatively connoted phrase, only to name these extravagances outside the football field."
Aubameyang was temporarily suspended by Dortmund in November for unspecified reasons, sporting director Michael Zorc later claiming Dortmund are frustrated by the striker's lack of punctuality.
It was not the first time the 28-year-old has been the subject of internal disciplinary action at Signal Iduna Park, while he has also been regularly linked with a transfer away from the Bundesliga side.