That racism has been injected deep into sports, and especially in football, was established when a spectator was spotted hurling racial abuse towards Manchester United player Fred at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday during the Manchester Derby, won 2-1 by United.
The incident happened in the second half when the Brazilian footballer went into the sidelines of United’s half and a person was seen doing “monkey chants”, the video of which has gone viral on social media. Allegedly, some objects were also thrown at him during the game.
The footballer called the entire episode “unfortunate” and said it was a shame that this kind of incident is still happening in 2019.
“We are still in a backward society. It’s sad, but we have to keep our heads up and forget about that. We can’t give them any attention because that’s all they want. I spoke to the referee after the match, they will do something about it and that’s all,” Fred was quoted as saying by ESPN Brazil.
Other than him, United midfielder Jesse Lingard was also subjected to racist insults. Taking to his official Twitter account, Lingard wrote, “Not even this idiot can ruin tonight’s feeling, shameful behaviour, it may be the derby but there is never ever a reason to be racist!”
Not even this idiot can ruin tonight’s feeling, shameful behaviour, it may be the derby but there is never ever a reason to be racist! https://t.co/tLegPkBIG4
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) December 7, 2019
Speaking after the match, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that both Lingard and Fred were “affected” by the racist abuse and asked for the concerned person to “never be allowed into a football ground again”.
“I’ve seen the video, heard from the players. We keep talking about it every bloody week. But he’s been caught on camera. He should, in my opinion, never be allowed into a football ground again. It is unacceptable,” The Guardian quoted Solskjaer as saying.
Manchester City FC have also condemned the incident and announced that they were working with the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to identify the accused individual.
“Manchester City FC are aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures during the second half of the match against Manchester United this evening,” City said in a statement.
“Officials from the Club are working with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in order to help them identify any individuals concerned and assist with their enquiries,” the statement added.