Racism in Football

Ben Mee comments on racism
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Burnley’s Ben Mee fumes at ‘White Lives Matter’ banner (video)

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Burnley Football Club apologized for the plane flown above the Etihad Stadium carrying a “White Lives Matter Burnley” banner on Monday.

The plane appeared moments after players from both Burnley and Manchester City, including Clarets captain Ben Mee, took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

[ RECAP: Man City 5-0 Burnley ]

Mee was one of several players to point out the banner to officials during the game, and said there was some indication something may happen before the game.

He was fuming after the match.

“I’m ashamed. I’m embarrassed that a small number of fans have decided to put that around the stadium. They completely missed the point of what we’re trying to achieve. These people need to come into the 21st century and educate themselves.”

“It’s not right. I totally condemn it. I’m embarrassed and this misses the point.”

Mee went even further when pressed on how he felt seeing the banner so soon after he and his peers had taken a knee.

“You hear the plane above. The lads came together and said this is what we want. We want equality in everything whether it be race, religion, gender, the LGBTQ community. The players want to take a stand.”

Man City boss Pep Guardiola was very angry and offered strong words after the game.

“Everybody knows that white lives matter. They need to be convinced that black lives matter, too.”

LA Galaxy release Katai after wife’s social media mocks protestors

Aleksandar Katai released
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The LA Galaxy have “parted ways” with Aleksandar Katai after the Serbian winger’s wife posted racist and violent comments regarding protestors.

On Tuesday, Tea Katai posted a comment to “kill the s—-” with an accompanying video of a New York PD police vehicle ramming into a barricade help up by protestors and another photo of looters with sneakers she captioned, “Black Nikes Matter.”

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Aleksandar Katai issued an apology on Instagram saying that the views would not “be tolerated in my family” and condemned white supremacy while posting that “Black Lives Matter.”

That wouldn’t be enough for the Galaxy, who announced they would meet with Katai on Thursday. Their consideration may have been affected by protests outside their stadium.

According to the LA Times’ Kevin Baxter:

On Thursday four men stood before a statue of David Beckham outside the team’s stadium holding a bedsheet-sized banner that read “No Racists in Our Club” with Katai’s uniform No. 7 encircled with a red line through it.

Katai, 29, was in his first season with the Galaxy after spending 66 matches with the Chicago Fire, scoring 19 goals with 12 assists. Prior to that, he spent time with Red Star Belgrade and Vojvodina. He is nine times capped by Serbia including thrice in 2019.

Espanyol identify 12 fans who racially insulted player

Racism in football
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BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish club Espanyol says it has identified 12 fans who racially insulted an Athletic Bilbao player in the Spanish league last weekend.

Espanyol said on Monday in a statement that nine of the fans were club members and would face punishment that could include suspension or a full-time ban.

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It said a report of its analysis of the video images of Saturday’s game at RCDE Stadium were sent to authorities.

The club reiterated its “categorical condemnation of any displays of violence and racism.”

The fans made monkey noises directed at Athletic forward Inaki Williams, who is black. Television images showed Williams confronting the section of Espanyol fans who taunted him after he was substituted late in the game in Barcelona.

The Spanish league said it will seek a partial stadium closure for Espanyol and will raise the incident with the Spanish soccer federation’s competition committee, which handles disciplinary issues.

Man City supporter banned five years for Sterling slur

Man City supporter banned for racial abuse
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A Manchester City supporter will not attend matches for five years after racially abusing Raheem Sterling.

The fan admitted that he used a slur in celebrating a Sterling goal against Bournemouth last season.

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According to The Manchester Evening News, Sterling did not hear the slur but fans around the man did and alerted authorities.

The fan, 58-year-old Ian Baldry, immediately regretted his words according to his lawyer, who remarkably claimed Sterling is one of Baldry’s favorite players.

The news comes one day after a Sicilian man was banned from all sporting events for five years after racially abusing Mario Balotelli in the fall.

Football has seen a wide variety of racial abuse incidents this season.

These increasing hateful incidents have inspired many to speak out, and led Pogba made and distributed his own anti-racism bracelets.

Fan who aimed chants at Balotelli banned from sports events

Balotelli racial abuser banned
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VERONA, Italy — A Sicilian man was banned from European sports events for five years Thursday for directing racist chants at Brescia striker Mario Balotelli.

Verona police issued the ruling after reviewing evidence from the Hellas Verona-Brescia game on Nov. 3.

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The 38-year-old man was also barred from frequenting areas that fans pass through on match days.

Balotelli angrily kicked a ball high into the stands and threatened to leave the field because of the racist chants directed at him during the game in Verona, which was suspended for several minutes.

Balotelli, who is black, was also subjected to racist chants by Lazio fans during a game last weekend.

Balotelli was born in Italy to Ghanaian immigrants and has represented the Italian national team. He recently returned to Serie A after several seasons in France.