The outrage that greeted the news that the ‘top six’ Premier League clubs planned to leave the league and join a new European Super League was met with complete outrage. Pundits, former players and fans united in their disgust that these clubs would allow greed to destroy tradition and damage other clubs. Protests were held outside all of the clubs who had agreed to join, with the exception of Manchester City, as people came together to say enough was enough.
Within days, the European Super League had died a death, showing the power of the football community. However, after every game where a Black player underperforms, he’s greeted with racist abuse on social media, and apparently there is no solution.
Watford defender, Christian Kabasele, has spoken this week about how rapidly the Premier League can ensure their copyrighted footage is deleted from social media, yet racist abuse lingers.
“If you put highlights of a game on social media they get deleted in two hours because of the rights,” he said. “So why can’t they do this with racial abuse?”
Speaking with The Daily Mail, Evra spoke about how he has little time for the meaningless campaigns that footballs get involved in that achieve nothing to stop racist abuse.
Kick it Out and Say “No” in front of the camera before kick off? I don’t want to be involved. When players are doing it, they don’t know what they are talking about. You have to be racially abused to understand the pain. In France, after our problems during the 2010 World Cup, they had the guillotine ready for me.
People must stop pretending they want to stop the racists. They shut down the Super League project in 24 hours. I see my ex-team-mates as pundits talking about it. But I wonder why they couldn’t find the same energy to fight racism. People only care about things that hit them in the pocket. I hate the hypocrisy.
Evra was racially abused by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and had to wait nine years for the club to apologise for supporting the Uruguayan after the incident. Liverpool players wore a t-shirt with him on after the guilty verdict was announced, the manager Kenny Dalglish claimed the club was being unfairly targeted, and the club released a statement of support. ‘We totally support Luis and we want to the world to know that,’ Liverpool FC’s statement read.
Just three years ago, when playing at Anfield against West Ham, the chants of “one lying bastard” directed at the Frenchman were deafening. Earlier this week, those same fans booed Suarez, with his celebration against the club at Barcelona seemingly deserving of anger, when his racism saw him receive nothing but support.
In the serialisation of his new book with the Sunday Times, Evra revealed how Liverpool fans sent him death threats in response to Suarez’s racist abuse of him.
I started to receive hate mail from Liverpool fans, handwritten letters sent to United. They were opened by Barry Moorhouse, then the player liaison officer and long-time United servant. “Pat, this is a really serious case,” he said as he showed me some of then letters. One was from a man in prison who said that the first thing he was going to do when he got out was kill me. The police came and told me they had to take it seriously. For two months, I had 24-hour security in front of my house. Given my background, I wasn’t scared, but my family were. One day, I was driving my car and I could see someone following me. When I stopped, the car stopped and did a U-turn. The police had already been tracking the car. Nothing came of it, or if it did, I wasn’t told.
When I saw them with the Suarez shirts, I thought, “Really? He’s been found guilty and you’re still supporting him?”