Saka abuse just shows racism is part of the English game

August 21st might host one of the greatest atmospheres the Emirates has ever produced.

It will be Arsenal’s home fans first chance to put their collective arm round Saka’s shoulder and let him know we care. That we are proud of the bravery he showed at the Euros by taking England’s 5th penalty.

Yet the irony is that while 60,000 chant his name, a few are guilty of racially abusing the 19-year-old. Others might let him off based on who he plays for but reserve the trolling for a Rashford and/or Sancho.

Napoli players reported racial abuse when they visited North London, the club have a fan channel famous for swearing and mocking their own players, while the likes of Xhaka has countless examples of him and his family being threatened.

There’s no point Gunners or any other fan base in the UK trying to deny it, we have a serious problem in this country.

The European Championships was essentially a home tournament.

With the World watching, England fans were guilty of abusing Denmark fans, booing national anthems, breaking into Wembley – and of course, racism.

Almost as a favour to Prince William and Boris Johnson, our media report these incidents as the minority. Which of course it is.

Yet when the same thing happens abroad that’s not the angle our press takes.

They understandably demand tough sanctions and justifiably question associations when fines are lenient.

The FA don’t want to admit it.

The Prem knows it hurts their brand to be open about it, but English Football has a racism problem.

The problem being is that these cowards are not just morons who hide behind a keyboard. They are everyday men and women who in their workplace, at home, in their local shop, wouldn’t dare repeat the language they type or chant.

The issue continues to be that they view football as this universe where they can say and do anything they want. To them, these players are larger than life characters they see on TV, not in fact a teenager heartbroken that he’s missed a spot kick.

Take the person who ran on the pitch on Sunday.

How hard were tickets to get? How much do you think he had to pay?

He missed extra time and pens for the sake of what?

Imagine if he had missed the greatest moment in England’s footballing history for 55 years based on the need to break the law?

You say it out loud, it sounds obvious. Why spend hundreds of pounds just to run on a piece of grass and get arrested? Like I said, something happens to these morons in the confines of their footballing bubble.

I wrote this before and sadly will repeat myself throughout the year.

I have to, because once we stop reporting it, it becomes an accepted part of society.

Sterling got abused after the draw with Scotland. Where once it was a huge story, now it’s almost accepted, that that is what happens when a player is perceived to play badly, they get trolled.

We can’t on one hand say how badly Morata was treated in Spain by Internet comments, and then claim we only have a minority who are a problem in this part of the world.

Sure, more humans are decent than not, but what’s the number where a minority is too many? To me one person being racist is one too many.

That’s because I have a zero tolerance to hatred and discrimination – which Is why I prompt discussion and try to educate.

There is a generation watching YouTube who think it’s acceptable to call someone the C Word if they play poorly. It might even get them some views.

One of the saddest things I saw this summer is a Host in his thirties laugh as a 12-year-old racially abused another person.

What’s worse? Society failing this kid because he thinks this is how you impress people? The adult not feeling the need to correct the child. Or YouTube allowing the channel to still air? Then we are told in the next breath to please report anything bad we hear?

Arsenal sent out a statement of support for Saka.

The irony being they used the same platforms who failed to protect the 19-year-old.

Facebook and Twitter continue to fail to give any valid reason why they don’t demand all users set up accounts with addresses, like you would for online gambling.

If the Gunners truly were disgusted by these media giants not doing more, they would join Henry and leave these platforms for good.

They won’t, for same reason the premier league don’t deduct points for racism; for the same reason chairmen don’t vote on stadium bans as a sanction; for same reason Facebook and Twitter won’t reform; ……. Money!

There was a lot that happened in the last month that made me proud to be English, but we also showed racism and hooliganism are a part of our game.

If fans had stormed stadiums in Russia, Russians booed anthems, if players were mocked for the colour of their skin …. we’d be in uproar.

Let’s see the consequences the FA get for fans breaking into Wembley, lasers being used, fireworks being set off, racist songs being chanted, etc.

The same country who will then preach about taking the knee and reporting racism?


Dan Smith

Tags racism


  1. I saw some English fans beating Italians on YouTube, after the final. If England government are serious in fighting racial attacks, they should’ve put those attackers in jail

    1. Imagine one of those victims dies due to a blow to the head and you end up in prison over a football game wasting away.

        1. I saw some Russian fans beating up English fans, one of whom died – any thoughts from FIFA regarding that?

          1. If it happened just because of a football game, Russia should’ve been banned for that

    2. It happens in the game unfortunately England fans get attacked not nothing is said because it England but if we do it well all the world knows and we or well I can’t say it on this page but it just happens in football though the world

      1. It happened in other countries as well, so everybody should act against it, especially the authorities

        1. Most of the online abuse came from outside the country. Billions of people use the Internet, some of them are mean, nasty, bigoted people. There is no solution to eliminating online abuse.

          Everything possible should be done to fight racism within the game itself from players and fans in the stadium. But trying to control what idiots on the Internet say is impossible.

          1. I believe your first sentence, because I read their racist and fascist comments on WION andTRT channels

  2. These on line racist cowards are a modern day cancer that need cutting out of media,imprisonment and fining!

    1. Let’s get one thing straight, “THESE SCUM BAGS ARE NOT FANS”. They are the scourge of an modern society that thrives on a sense of being more than they actually are. But they will never be anything more that the sediment you find at the bottom of an empty barrel. The stuff that is completely useless and easily disregarded. They are the pieces of dog shite that gets left on the pathway when stepped in. Not even worthy to be stuck on anyone’s shoe.

      Our biggest problem with racism though is that, the more of an issue you make, the worse it seems to become. You just can’t teach a old dog new tricks. Racism is in our fabric and it’s passed on to the generations without even realizing. It won’t be resolved over night. However, Maybe we should include more awareness through early learning stages but, will that be enough if the parents are racist?

      I am ashamed to be British sometimes. It’s nothing new that we behave this way and nothing will change until we find a solution to deal with it. What ever that solution is, we haven’t found it yet. Not even close.

      1. I don’t know GunneRay, I think bringing this out helps enforce the view in younger generations. Some of us are probably locked into our mindset now and can’t change – systemic views like racism are hard to change, but the only way is to confront.

        I can empathize with your embarassment – I am Canadian and the constant releases about Indigenous residential schools embarrasses me a lot and it can be overwhelming. The good thing though is that we are talking, and in Canada’s case, learning about a really long and awful chapter of our history.

        And just remember, idiots do not really define the collective!

  3. Terrible that it happened to the poor lad. Keep your head up Saka.

    People have biases based on race, culture, gender,height, weight ect ect

    All technically the same thing just with a different metric being used. The more we keep highlighting the differences, the more it fuels it.

    “How do we stop racism? Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.”
    -Morgan Freeman

    1. Completely agree with you. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like this will happen for a long while still

  4. I’m an Arsenal fan from Finland. 49 old and I have been Arsenal fan almost my whole life. I always watch the matches live, no matter if it’s a training match or a league match.

    I have seen how the atmosphere around football has changed when social media came popular. It gives a voice to the fans and supporters, which is mostly a bad thing. Ever since Wenger Out campaign started I have hated how big social media has become.

    There’s a possibility to use social media platform for a good, but mostly it’s a platform for hate and toxic thoughts.

    I have been thinking that Arsenal might not survive from the hate around the club. Not with the owners who are trying to make normal business with the club where it is club which should make profit for the owners. With that kind of owners rebuilding of the squad is too slow. Hate around the club will wear down the players and the staff.

    The racist abuse is the same thing, it grows on the social media, and I’m not surprised if some of those racists are the same people are wanting Out our players, managers, owners etc…

    These are miserable times for a fan who just want to enjoy football.

    I have said to many Arsenal supporters that they should start to support Tottenham the same way supporting Arsenal currently. By doing that they would actually help Arsenal.

    1. Can’t disagree to your comment, mate.

      RESPECT is the key word for me personally, than SUPPORT (which I do respect and support).

  5. I’m afraid racism is here to stay, it is world wide and not a black or white thing either. Racism is horrible and we should do all we can to stamp it out but it isnt new and it isn’t going to go away. Calling someone a name whatever colour you are is racist and is throw away in some respects and will never stop. Hounding someone and or beating someone just because they are different than you is despicable and anyone who does that are not human.

  6. It would be good if all of us who tind racism abhorrent took the knee with the players at the next home game. Just once to show the world and the ratbags how many of us stand against racism

  7. One of the most important reports you have submitted Dan.Very well said.The time has come for the political powers to introduce legislation, globally, whereby formal ,validated registration is required for access to these platforms.As far as I can see, unless such steps are taken, the mindless racists will continue to spout their vile ,gutter language in the knowledge that they are untouchable.A United political front is needed to bring about the necessary legislation which will deter these mindless idiots from crossing the line.

  8. I know that this is a bit unrealistic but ending anonymous posting and anonymous social media might make some think twice.

    Theory is great of course as those inclined would just make up real names – we would need some kind of massive internet police to verify names.

    I will say that while we can get quite heated with each other from time to time the level of respect on here is a lot better than most boards.

  9. I really object to the clearly inaccurate statement that racism is part of the English game ! This sort of wrongly emotive language sets quite the wrong agenda.

    What racism IS, in fact, is a disease that a small percent of sub humans suffer from, who are in society in general and SOME among that sub human minority use football as an”excuse” to vent their Neanderthal views.These people, are however, nothing to do with the game at all.

    They are parasites who attach their disgusting views to the game, BUT they are quite separate from the game itself. This is an important point that I PRAY those who think no further than this untrue headline will PROPERLY THINK ABOUT and not just parrot in dull witted fashion. These sub hunas attch thelselves to all popular matters but are no more PART of those causes than I am part of the Womens Institute, simply because I give public lectures to that noble institution.

    There is a complete difference between attaching oneself and being a true part. RACISTS ARE NOT A PART OF THE GAME AND NEVER WILL BE. They are a quite separate mental sickness group, suffered only by half witted sub humans.

    Racism is quite separate from our game and to mix up the game with the separate issue of racist morons is wrong , inaccurate and deliberately agenda driven. SHAME ON THIS IDIOTIC AND INSULTING HEADLINE!

  10. As long as there are power greedy people in this world,the ones who are trying to be the alpha or sort of think themself as the alpha,racism will continue to be there…

  11. I think racism gas been part of the English football game all along from the beginning. Initially, I think if you are not a White English man but a Black man, it’ll look odd if you play in the English football League. For, you could be racially abused for you being a Black man playing in the preserved for only indigenous predominately White English men football game.

    But as time pass by and civilization is moving on, the intensity of racism in football has decreased alongside tolerance and acceptability that have increased. Forcing racism in football mostly targeted against the Black players to reduce to the barest minimum I would say.

    Race racism in football is now limited to some few football fans who are still practising it. And I believe they are in the minority as against the majority of White football fans who aren’t racism inclined. Or are indifferent to it.

    Can racism against Black footballers be stamped out of football games? Yes! I believe it can. But 1st if those who engaged themselves in racist chats and abuses are appealed to by persuading them to please stop doing it. For, it hurts some footballers who are Blacks. ( Is this mainly due to the fact that the Black man technological development and advancement ostensibly poor as against the White man or the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese who are technologically very advanced. And have commanded respect from the White man for their being advanced technologically now? Just as like their White counterpart man is.)

    to force the resist chanters and abusers to stop racist chanting and abusing through legislation may not work. Because us know how humanbeings are. For, what you don’t want to and you are forcing them to stop it is what they will continue to do, saying come and stop us if you can.

  12. They just have to end racism in England, if not war may arise. Who is to blame now, England?? If all these keep repeating itself then, England must be ban for countless years or even forever. #ENDRACISM_ENGLAND#

  13. Dan, a thought provoking article.
    First of all I sadly note your customary dig at AFTV and, if you haven’t read how some posters on JA (on a regular basis) do exactly what you say AFTV do, then I suggest you read comments regarding every single Arsenal player bar Saka – JA is not blameless!!!

    Now onto the thrust of your article and, once again, I have to challenge your thinking.
    Wasn’t it you who wrote the article that said taking the knee was irrelevant?
    Someone in the comments above said we should all take the knee at the first home game and, apart from the impracticability of such a move, that would be a step forward.

    I really don’t know how one can rid society of these morons, but football is not to blame – society is.
    Perhaps REAL sentences for those who think they can go through life abusing others might help, starting with a minimum of ten years hard labour!!!

    1. Ken I am pleased to see that, like my longer post further up, you too think football is not to blame but society is.
      I firmly rebutted the false idea by DAN that ” racism is part of the game”.

      I say it is not but that racist scum PARASITES have used football as a vehicle for their ignorance and that same scum are NOT AND NEVER WILL BE partof our game.

      I will not allow Dan to foolishly misrepresent our great game and demean it by falsely saying it is racist, even in part. It is an important distinction that some will, however, choose not to see.


      1. Jon, with you 100% on this and I find it curious that AFTV is always a magnet for Dan – I just ignore them, as they do not represent my views.

        1. Yes Ken, over the years I have almost always praised DANS usually intelligent and contexted articles . But when that same DAN then posts a reply to those who comment on his article, those replies, in general, show markedly less clear intelligent thinking than his articles themselves show.

          So much so in fact, that I am bound to wonder if those articles are truly his OWN originals or whether he has copied them from some other Arsenal source. I doubt we will ever know for sure, either way.

          Separately, I too have noticed how obsessed Dan seems to be with AFTV, and for a presumably intelligent person this seems to my mind a strange situation. Why would he be so obsessed, I find myself wondering! Perhaps I am over analysing, but equally, perhaps not!

          1. You guys (ken and jon) may be in a bit of a catch-22 or a closed loop, and I don’t mean that to argue or be dismissive. I think that football is part of society, it is part of the whole. It has elements of society good and bad (mostly good I might add).

            Racism is endemic in society (at least I think so), and it exists in football from fans and sometimes organizations. It has been here for a long time – as it is representative.

            Breaking colour barriers and efforts by organized football and the increasing levels of tolerance in society are pushing back against racism and has to be recognized, but it is still there as we say after the match.

            Football does not cause racism, it is not the main driver of racism, but racism rears its ugly head at football matches as it can rear its ugly head at any type of event or gathering.
            I do wonder sometimes if it rears its head more in football than elsewhere but I don’t know that to be true.

            The element of “society” that is football certainly cannot solve the issue by itself. And most of the people who identify within that element are not racists.

            Sadly it does seem that the knuckle-draggers can show up in football-related social media.

            I know talking and listening to colleagues or friends of colour or different ethnicity, they deal with a lot of things that I, as a somewhat older, white guy don’t have to deal with. The world seems to be an easier place for me than for some. Add income and education and the gap grows even greater.

            Not arguing with you as I have been thinking about this a lot of late – for me it is in relation to Indigenous relations in Canada – and while we are making strides there are a lot of issues that need attention.

            I think that it is a really good sign that this board is having the discussion – it means people care! Good day all!

      2. Depends how you look at it Jon
        Are the likes of sterling being racially abused often online
        Was a banana thrown at auba ?
        Were there monkey chants at Emirates when napoli were at Emirates
        Hadn’t quite a few clubs British clubs been fined for fans racist songs abroad ?
        DIidnt aftv kick off a fan for racial.abuse
        Didn’t players walk offpitch in non league due to racism.
        Were fans not caught making monkey gestures in Manchester derby ?
        I could go on ……so how is racism not part of our game ?
        We literally just had a euros where national anthem was booed , Denmark complained of racial abuse and 4 players have been racially abused
        But it’s not part of our game

        1. Dan, why do you choose to ignore the point I made ? I said that racists exist in society; no argument there. But I also said that someof those scumbags attach themselves , as parasites do, to football social media.

          That does not make them part of the game as your incorrect title said. THEY ARE UNINVITED AND THUS ATTACHED TO, BUT NOT PART OF FOOTBALL.

          Only IF they were invited – which they are not- would they be part of the game! Two totally distinct and separate matters.

          You refuse to see it. I do see it and have taken your incorrect headline(probably written by Ad Pat, admittedly,) to task, as a consequence.

      3. Jon im confused your rebutting that racism is part of English Football but then when I give examples you say it’s part of society
        So I don’t see your argument
        There have been arrests made on players being racially abused and the pm wants a policy where if you are found guilty of racial abuse your banned from a football stadium
        So it’s quite evident
        As for the aftv thing
        In the last month can you give me a number of articles I wrote about them ?
        By your logic though are AFTV obsessed with arsenal then ?
        As for the mocking of my intelligence , etc , come on mate your better then that ?
        Im very observant though and t has left me asking a few questions ?
        Why would someone want to pretend racism is not an issue in our country when our pm, prince William , arsenal., The fa have all condemned ….racism

      1. Dan,the main reason I use this site, is because of Pat’s excellent control of it with regards to your two examples…. but surely you are not nieve enough to think that posts would not appear without his censorship?
        That’s why I have never got involved with AFTV.

        Going back to the days of the 70’s and 79’s when we had the troubles in football, it was proven that the hooligans used football matches as a means to cause trouble – they had no interest in the game, as they proudly stated themselves.

        Of course football is a part of our society, but it is not correct to say that racism is rife in football – just look at the reaction to the abuse given out to the three players.

        Dan, I have followed our club for many years and have never been involved in any kind of recusr or hooligan behaviour.
        I could have been with the latter, as it was easy to find…. if one wanted too.
        But like thousands of others, I went to the game to watch football and then go home.

        Please let’s not start to victimise the normal fan, when it is the tiny minority in this country who are bigots and hooligans.

          1. Well said but not anything to do with the topic you raised
            You implied that just arsenal have said the same vile things that aftv have so I asked you to give an example?

  14. To switch from race to gender, there was a really good article in the Athletic today talking about a female perspective on the final and how females are often accosted at football matches. It was not a pleasant read. Again, this isn’t the majority but a really loud and visible minority…

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