Fan behavior hasn’t been at its best in the Premier League this season.
Spurs had an issue in December when one of their fans was arrested after throwing a banana at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the North London Derby at the Emirates. Now, racism may have reared its ugly head once again.
Tottenham lost 1-0 to Manchester United on Sunday. It was a frustrating result that will now only become more frustrating for the club. After the game, Goal.com editor-in-chief James Dickens took to Twitter to detail the racism he had witnessed at Wembley.
I've not experienced racism at football for about 15 years. But today at @SpursOfficial was hideous. Reported to stewards, confronted him myself and was called a c*nt. While I was standing next to my son. Hideous.— James Dickens (@JamesWDickens) January 13, 2019
The Evening Standard has some more information on the situation.
The supporter confirmed South Korea forward Son was the target of the alleged abuse and added: “Spurs have been in touch and I’ll work with them to find the person. Spurs...have been great.”
Last month, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said he wanted to “kill racism” after a fan threw a banana onto the pitch in the 4-2 defeat at Arsenal.
It’s such a shame that this has to be said, but this isn’t surprising at all. Son Heung-Min is one of the most likable players in world football. He’s a fan favorite at Tottenham Hotspur, yet there is still a terrible double standard that exists with Asian players and essentially results in ignorant Spurs fans racially abusing their own player.
If you go to a game, it’s not uncommon to hear Son referred to as “Noodles” or some other racist stereotype about Asians. Some people wrongly view these terms and nicknames as a joke, when really they are another bit of racist ignorance that should have no place in any part of society.
There is an infamous song that some United fans used to sing about their Korean midfielder Park Ji-Sung. The song claimed that he eats dogs because he is Korean, which is obviously an incredibly racist thing to say. Park has since retired so that chant has died out, and thankfully nothing similar has arisen during Son’s time at Spurs.
It’s not a joke, it’s hate. Anyone who can’t understand that should not have the privilege of attending games.
Tottenham deserve a bit of criticism here as it appeared their stewards were not helpful in the moment. If Dickens heard the racist shouts, surely the stewards did also. The club needs to do a better job of training them to act in the moment in the face of racism. This is something they may be better prepared to tackle after Spurs move into their new stadium.
It is encouraging to see now that the club is taking action and has been supportive of Dickens’ complaints. Hopefully they can work together to find this supporter and ban them for life.