Tottenham Hotspur has offered full support to Davinson Sanchez after the Colombian defender reported that he was racially abused on social media after Spurs’ 2-2 draw against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park today.
Sanchez posted screenshots on his Instagram stories of comments by a purported Spurs fan that were nothing but monkey emojis, with the words “Nothing changes.” After consideration, we decided not to post the screenshot of Sanchez’s story, but it’s not hard to find if you want to see it for yourself.
The screenshot from Davinson’s Insta quickly made the rounds on Twitter as more levelheaded and sensible Spurs fans rushed to Sanchez’s defense. Tottenham was quick to post a statement of their own, saying they were “disgusted” by the abuse and calling for social media platforms to step in.
We are disgusted by the racist messages received by Davinson Sanchez today and are calling on social media platforms to take action.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 4, 2021
We stand with you, @daosanchez26, and all those continuing to suffer abuse online. pic.twitter.com/jb31Z9zNZL
It goes without saying that it is both shocking that stuff like this still happens and simultaneously not at all surprising that a black footballer would be the subject of racist abuse online after a bad result. To be sure, Sanchez had a poor game for Spurs and has been rightfully criticized for his play, but nothing about what he has done or does on the pitch at all justifies racist abuse.
All football fans have their racist elements, and Tottenham is no exception, even though we like to pretend that we’re better than other fanbases. The truth is, we’re not. We don’t have to look too far to see other examples of racist abuse involving Spurs fans, including the fan who threw a banana peel at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in 2018. It’s everywhere, and it’s down to all of us to make sure stuff like this stops happening.
But unfortunately, once again we see just how far football has to go before the spectre of racism is excised from the sport. The work continues.