Why are Arsenal fans defending AFTV after racial slur?

Justarsenal are right to Question AFTV by Dan Smith

I was not aware of any racist comments on AFTV last weekend till an article on this website brought it to my attention. I have never heard the racial slur myself and foolishly only watched an explanation video from the channel.

I thought Claude was being criticised for simply saying Spurs were making a DVD (banter that stems from them actually doing that after a 4-4 draw). Once I watched the actual footage which caused offence it was clear his explanation does not make sense. He clearly says ‘there goes the DVD’, at the exact moment a man from Asia is being subbed.

Only a week previously I wrote about the pros and cons the rise of the internet/social media has had on football. Here though was a problem that was always going to happen.

Host Robbie has took an individual who admits to battling depression and encourages him weekly to shout and say outlandish things. Heck he gave him his own show because views showed he had a character who was entertaining.

When your lonely but suddenly getting attention online, invited to be on radio stations, etc that’s great for your ego …. until it’s taken away. Admin did a great job of detailing how the fan channel once again embarrassed the club.

I read comments where some suggested any critique was born out of jealousy. After all, why would Justarsenal choose to refer to a topic not related to Arsenal?

Yet you can’t have it both ways. AFTV’s content is Arsenal. They have made money off Arsenal. A few have become famous on YouTube because of Arsenal. They have interviewed ex-players because of Arsenal. They have been on TV because of Arsenal.

Yet when they get bad publicity don’t associate their brand with Arsenal?

The likes of Gary Neville, Hector Bellerin, Simon Jordan, even Mr Wenger to a degree warned the channel about the sensitivity of its business model and were mocked for doing it, so it’s hard to not judge a company who make money out of hammering another company but not liking it when it’s done to them.

I let myself down by not giving my opinion based on being accused of an agenda. I have contributed many articles preaching for the sport to have a zero tolerance towards racism. About how we need to educate a new generation that football is not a bubble where you can say and do what you want.

Yet when the owners of this fine site rightly pointed out how a product mishandled allegations of racism some excused it as JA picking on AFTV? Sorry, fan channels claim to be the new version of the media and want the same respect as a Sky Sports or a BBC. When they get questioned, they claim the likes of John Cross are jealous that journalism is changing. So, on one hand they are asking to be viewed as media.

So okay, if Gary Neville or Robbie Savage called Son a ‘DVD’ would you expect fans to talk about it? What’s the difference?

Robbie showed his true motives this week by backing Claude, then only doing a U turn once he lost sponsors. The irony being his ethos is ‘giving fans a voice’, yet when he knew fans were upset, he was happy to film Claude refusing to apologise. Yet once it hit his bank balance, all parties were magically sorry?

It’s hard to feel sorry for a man who didn’t think twice about the feelings of players, managers and fans when he was swearing at them. The same man who boasted to the camera how he didn’t have the respect to applaud Arsene Wenger in his last home game.

From a mental health point of view though, I hope he has support and the channel don’t wash their hands of him. His outburst made a lot of people a lot of money, so they owe him loyalty in his time of need. Saying you are backing him then changing your mind based on peer pressure is not a great quality

I want to quote the following for those who say this platform (made up of Gooners) have no right to question a channel who say they represent us ……

“This channel is about giving fans a voice.
“It’s about allowing ordinary Arsenal fans to have their say on the club they love.
“It’s made some popular but it’s not about that
“It’s about the ordinary guy who goes to the game ‘

That’s a quote from the host himself! So, if he wants to give fans a voice, what’s wrong with saying we don’t tolerate racism and don’t like the idea of that being seen as a representation of gooners?

Before kick-off players take a knee to show solidarity for equality. Being treated based on how you look has caused protests worldwide. The only way to educate is to have debate. The more kids who read what Claude said and see a consequence the better. We are past the point where people should be judged for saying racism or discrimination is wrong.

Justarsenal didn’t put words in anyone’s mouths. Nor did they defend it. They reported it and said it was wrong.

Don’t blame them for that, say well done for their integrity.

Dan Smith


  1. Robbie racial abuse as no place in this world that means NOT in football either Claude you should be ashamed of yourself I won’t be watching AFTV again

  2. First and foremost don’t call this a fine site. You are guilty as anybody when it comes to these issues. When somebody is a victim of racism the world erupts in defense including this site but I did not see you supporting Ozil when he defended the treatment of Muslims in China. These people are actually tortured and have their lives ruined because of their faith.

    Ozil of all people called the Muslim governments and organizations for their silence which is hypocrisy at its finest. But the guy received no support from anyone rather he was condemned.

    On top of being made a scapegoat of German world cup woes and Arsenal fall from grace regardless of whether he plays or not I wonder if he hasn’t been affected mentally.

    I don’t support racism but did Son life ruined by being called a DVD? Has he suffered from anything at all because of being called DVD?

    Why don’t you support people who are actually going hungry, not getting jobs and opportunities, being tortured and killed just because of their faith or color of their skin.

    Speak about the Muslim minorities in China, speak about the black people in USA.

    Those are the ones in really need of defending. Not a player who have millions in bank account, drive super cars and live in mansions, getting any girl of any color they want. But just because someone said a word that is against the current trend.

    Don’t even try to say that is not sport or doesn’t concern Arsenal because it does. When it come to these things everyone is concerned no matter what they do.

    And the comments on that article you mentioned being one of them nobody defended racism, all said that there are too many articles on this site bashing AFTV regardless of the topic.

    1. Shows you don’t read articles mate as I have written about Ozil and his opinions on the situation in China
      Although I fail to see the connection ?
      I never said anyone condoned racism but some did question why we discussed it
      You yourself seem to be saying it’s not a big deal by questioning I Son hurt ‘ mentally’
      So you to me are a fan who needs to read this and see there are consequences

    2. You seem to have an agenda against this site which makes me wonder why you visit and comment.

      You made false statements, Dan is absolutely right to highlight the fact that he wrote a defence of Ozil and in fact, I also reported on Ozil and his stance on the Muslims in China and everyone on here knows I am not pro Ozil.

      I actually did a check and there were at least four articles defending his stance, there are also articles highlighting his giving to charity, surprise surprise, also from me.

      If you would have done a cursory check before spouting your misleading guff you would have known this.

      But what is most worrying is your attitude to An Asian player being called DVD AFTER you have become aware of its racial slur.

      One thing we do not tolerate on this site is racism or acceptance of racism or finding excuses for it.

      I will keep an eye on your comments going forward in light of your DVD comments.

      1. As a person who is regularly a victim of racism and have learnt to live including losing a job without any fault rather than what I am, it just goes on to show people and media are all talk and nothing else. A player is thrown a banana and everybody talks about it, Son is called a DVD and it has become an issue.

        My point is either you and all media are not aware of or simply choose to ignore it because it doesn’t make headlines real life effects people are facing because of racism including being murdered.

        These players do not suffer any consequences of racism none whatsoever. The attention should be focused to the regular people who are really suffering and hurt because of racism.

      2. And can you please link those articles defending Ozil because before I commented I searched on Google and I got only two results of Wenger on Ozil China’s comments and another one I would not really calling it supporting.

          1. Thank you for the links and I apologize for attacking you based on presumption instead of facts.

    3. Plus, as per the article you are commenting on; So it is okay for AFTV to attack Arsenal players and managers (and other fans regularly), but they can’t be attacked as well when they are in the wrong?????
      Get a life mate..

      1. As many of us have commented before, AFTV is joke and a fraud stop giving them attention on this site. I doubt they are even gonna survive much longer now that they have been found out.

  3. Troopz says race related stuff almost on weekly basis, and no attack on him? Maybe if he was white it would be different?

    In regards to Claude, I didn’t even know what he said was a racist slur, as I’ve never heard it before, and no one I know has heard about. Obviously no place racism, but I wonder if Claude is aware fully of its connotations? Also some context, Claude wasn’t saying it in a hateful way, or anything aggressive like that. Just a clear mistake. Just educate him and move on.

    Now that we’re going after Claude, I expect to see many articles on Troopz’s racial comments now.

    1. Move on? I am very surprised by that ThirdManJW.

      We have not gone after Claude, one single article about his comments is all we have done. The BBC and Arsenal themselves have followed us in reporting on this, so please refrain from stating we are going after Claude as it is blatantly untrue.

      Also, previously we did an article on here about how poorly Claude looked and that AFTV should not be exploiting him and guess what, we got attacked for that.

      Finally, Troopz has said some nasty things and I have no time for him at all and we do condemn AFTV on a regular basis and of course, we get attacked for it, now you are stating we should go after him as well.

      We simply cannot win, we say nothing we get attacked, we say something, we get attacked, oh what it is like to be an Arsenal fansite.

      But saying move on about a racial issue is a problem for me.

        1. I know what he said and I do not see the difference and could have also highlighted his other comments which have not sat well with me but I do not want to turn this into a big thing. But thanks for your input.

          1. I wasn’t being funny Martin but posts can be taken out of context ,which like I said on the 1st article written by you is that you can’t say anything slightly wrong these days without being judged,I didn’t want to stick up for my old sparring partner but felt I needed to right a wrong IMO ,if you feel differently then I personally didn’t see it ,up that clears that up for you 👍

            1. That is fine but I think that all the news coverage about the incident suggests that it was not said slightly wrong but was an intentional slur, that it is fairly well known and any subsequent defence of those comments are inappropriate and should be called out. That said, I accept what you are saying and am happy to leave it there.

  4. Huge congratulations to switched on DAN SMITH on this mature and correct article. There is no excuse for tolerating racism and NO circumstance-be it money or survival of his company- where it is mitigated even by an iota and Robbie Lyall will have lost a great deal of respect for his poor moral stance by initially defending the unfortunate and non too bright Claude and his silly and hurtful jibe. It seems clear now, though hitherto I have given him the doubt, that Robbie’s main aim in AFTV is to make money and NOT to give the fans EN MASSE A PLATFORM. Let us be clear that the same old regulars appear on that channel, so it represents only a tiny and microscopic percentage of Gooners. So hardly a fair platform then Robbie! No more benefit of the doubt, from me anyway. You have nailed your colours to the mast for all to see. And we have all SEEN IT!

    1. Jon, you won’t be surprised that I agree 100% with you and Dan, but I also have to agree with the main thrust of TMJW’s points – there is a tendency to be selective in who/what is reported for racism (not on JA, but in general).

      I abhor any kind of racism, but we have to have a level playing field, otherwise we make it even harder to rectify.
      AFTV were not at fault, when this slur was made, but they were at fault for not condemning it immediately it was spotted – just as TMJW says should happen in every case, but which, unfortunately doesn’t happen.

  5. Dan, I stood by the comments in the original article reporting this, and the racial abuse was unacceptable, and Robbie did a poor job with his initial response. I’m glad you have cleared things up more in this article and do not want Claude permanently gone, and AFTV having their name permanently torched. If we are trying to become a more tolerable society, we also need to allow the room for people to redeem their mistakes and own their actions within reason of course.
    You are right that Robbie only did a u-turn once the sponsors fired back, and the unfortunate reality is that people dont get it until it hurts them in their pockets. My hope will be if something like this ever happens again it wont take sponsors dropping out to get a real reaction. Robbie and Claude were both wrong and people can try to make reasons for them, but the video evidence shows the contrary. Keeping true to my statement about room to grow & whatnot, I will take your word that this is only about racism in football and not about agendas towards AFTV.

    1. Yes mate
      Like I said if it was Garry Neville sacked for a racial comment you wouldn’t say it’s an agenda against Sky Sports

    2. RSH, very well put.
      Apparently there are a lot of people out there, who have never made a mistake or said something they didn’t later regret. Claude is not the sharpest tool in the shed and has suffered a number of health and personal issues in his life. Surely he can expect some forgiveness.
      As I have said in previous posts I, along with apparently a lot of others on this site, was not aware that “DVD” aimed at an Asian person was a racial slur. I am disappointed with Robbie Lyle’s reaction, but in my opinion AFTV is a multi racial channel and has been outspoken concerning racial vilification in football throughout its history.
      Surely anyone deserves a second chance?

      1. My issue with this idea of forgiveness is he didn’t apologise straight away
        In fact he was defiant in refusing to say sorry
        Only doing so after sponsors left and he was removed from the channel
        In other words he was sorry only when it hurt him and the channel financially

        1. Dan, I too was disappointed in Robbie Lyle’s reaction; however as I said we all make mistakes.

  6. This site has been consistent on the racism front from my recollection, so we’ll done there guys.

  7. I give up on JA. All comments still look to me like an attack on AFTV…. m I just went through AFTV and nothing like this had happened until now and then all of u here are quick to judge em, well, I agree with the article 100percent but AFTV still my favorite arsenal platform. Not doing ja anymore, I didn’t expect this to be dragged as I have also seen Robbie not supporting some guys opinion which is justified. My wife became an arsenal fan cos of AFTV (expression of emotions, interviews, all fun to watch that it will be easy to not notice Claude saying that word but a critical mind like JA would love to pick that up) and although we condemned Claude’s statement, it doesn’t mean condemning AFTV, everyone makes mistakes even AFTV,… But all these still makes me feel like JA looks for a competitive scape goat in AFTV… I’m out.

    1. Aftv is a broadcaster who have long preached to be media
      They should be held accountable like anyone else
      Would you say the same if this was a Sky Sports pundit?
      Go to work and use a racial slur and see how far the’ everyone makes mistakes ‘ stance takes you
      AFTV themselves are condemned because they didn’t say it was wrong , they released a video with Claude refusing to apologise
      only way sponsors left did we hear sorry
      Arsenal released a statement, do they have an agenda
      You liking a channel doesn’t make it okay
      Your asking us to ignore what he said ?
      Well where’s the line?
      JA have a zero tolerance on racism and if that’s the reason you don’t want to contribute ( speaking for myself ) you won’t be misssed

      1. I still don’t understand what u re beefing for, Claude was even removed from the platform, what else do u want,… For Claude and Robbie to die? Common, I’m no racist, and I despise racist, but d deed I’d done and even AFTV understands it’s wrong, so u want to sentence them to a life term in jail? I’m sure I won’t be missed, that’s how bad JA Is I would imagine, JA or Pple like u don’t care about other people opinion except urs, ur kind don’t give in to second thought,… U seem to be very egocentric and ethnocentric. That’s y u wouldn’t care if I left just because I shared my opinion… Smh

        1. Well no what am I meant to do if you leave ?
          Beg you to change your mind ?
          It’ s your choice
          Very egocentric of you to think this whole sites world will stop based on you threatening to walk away
          If it was how you are being treated , then that’s one thing
          Your stance is , you have had enough because we have done a couple of articles on a racial slur ( as have Arsenal by the way)
          That’s your right mate as is my right to write my opinions and this sites right to use it or not

          1. You’re hurting… Lol….. Just my opinion though…😂😂😂

            Share ur opinion and leave JA out of it, I’m just enjoying myself by reading people’s thoughts,,,, I still maintain my opinion, u don’t need to reason with me cos u don’t reason with others…. Don’t worry, whatever ur thoughts Rae, God bless you mate…. Stop hurting,,,

  8. Am I being an old ignorant fart…

    What the hell does DVD mean?

    I googled it and still don’t have a scooby doo?

    1. I “Googled” “DVD” and like you all I could find is an abreviatiation for Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc!

      1. Try googling it in context, then you will get the results that show why it was so wrong

    1. A guy made a racial slur and they defended it
      Also reported by bbcaftv , newspapers aftv and arsenal themselves lol

  9. How about Robbie gets fans who respect the club, can speak properly with dignity & act like the PROFESSIONALs do (since they think they are the media) instead of the angry same fans he has on week in and week out! Take the swearing out of your interviews and make the channel respectable.

    You dont see professionals act like that, hence the reason they are respectable and AFTV has went to crap with the total lack of respect for the club or themselves.

    I’ll add, this site give fans a voice in a way and can say what we like to an extent but has to be with abit common sense of what not to say or they will ban you or remove comments. Happens every Article if they need to step in. This site is run perfectly so I agree if you are going to run your mouth do your research of what they actually do and have put up for pros and cons of any article.

    This site has been great for a lot of us Arsenal Fans for years now to connect and talk about Arsenal. Admin Pat would be a better host or creator of AFTV than Robbie all because he has the respect of peoples opinions in a way that doesnt need to come across as bitter, angry etc… and wont let disrespect, racism or any form of bullying happen on here or just be negative towards the club we all support at every opportunity we dont win or play well.

    Rant over. Dont like the site then leave

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