Tony Henry

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West Ham fires Henry for anti-African comments

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Tony Henry’s likely done working in football.

West Ham United announced the firing of its director of recruitment after an investigation confirmed his anti-African (and anti-Russian, and anti-Italian) sentiments were uncovered by The Daily Mail earlier this week.

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Henry started an email rejecting a player by saying, “We don’t want any more Africans and he’s not good enough” before detailing his feelings by ripping want-away Diafra Sakho while saying unsettled African players “cause mayhem.”

The club statement laid out its reasoning for firing Henry, from WHUFC.com:

Our action follows a full and thorough investigation.
West Ham United will not tolerate any type of discrimination.
The West Ham United family is an inclusive one where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included.

West Ham respond to anti-African recruitment allegations

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The Daily Mail’s Matt Lawton has an outrageous story coming out of West Ham United.

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Lawton reports that West Ham director of recruitment Tony Henry is not interested in signing African players with the blanket reasoning that they “cause mayhem.”

An email leaked to Lawton has Henry declining a potential transfer target with the reasoning, “We don’t want any more Africans and he’s not good enough.” He also says it’s a policy supported by club management.

“It’s nothing racist at all. It’s just sometimes they can have a bad attitude. We had problems with Sakho, with Diafra Sakho. We find that when they are not in the team they cause mayhem. It’s nothing against the African race at all.

“I mean, look, there are top African players. There’s not a problem with them. It’s just sometimes they cause a lot of problems when they are not playing, as we had with Diafra. He’s left, so great. It’s nothing personal at all.”

Henry went on to credit Cheikhou Kouyate as a top player in defending his point, adding that he felt Russians and Italians also failed to settle in England.

West Ham issued a lengthy response calling itself an “inclusive, respectful, and diverse football” club, laying out their reasoning. As for the alleged email from Henry, the club told the Mail:

‘We take any allegations of discrimination extremely seriously and are now in the process of ascertaining the full facts behind this accusation.’