Sun graduate trainee suffered racist abuse after covering football match - Press Gazette

Sun graduate trainee suffered racist abuse after covering football match

A Sun graduate trainee had described how he suffered racist abuse after covering a football match last weekend.

David Woode spoke out after the controversy surrounding England Under-21s' game against Serbia on Tuesday, when Spurs defender  Danny Rose was alleged to have been racially abused by fans.

Writing in the paper yesterday, Woode said "it is not just footballers and fans abroad that experience primitive pitch-side hatred”.

Woode said that he was on the receiving end of a “torrent of unpleasant abuse” after covering Barnet’s home League Two clash against Plymouth.

He wrote:

The atmosphere was intense and exciting — even as Barnet took a 4-1 pounding from Plymouth.

But after attending a post-match Press conference I made my way out of the football ground and the good feeling soon turned sour.

As I walked along a path, a black Volkswagen Golf pulled up alongside me and the tinted passenger window rolled down.

A blond-haired man — face covered with a stripy black scarf — cranked his head out and shouted: “OI YOU F****** GORILLA, F*** OFF BACK TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY.”

He then threw a square gold metal tin which hit my knee and fell to the floor.

Calmly, he wound up the window and the car sped off. I was stunned. I had to check my watch — it said 2012.

Woode added:

It has been more than 10 years since I have experienced this kind of behaviour and I was glad he did not throw anything that would have caused a serious injury.

But in a year in which the United Kingdom has basked in sporting glory, racism in football still threatens to undermine the world’s most beloved sport.

Look at a list of recent UEFA fines for racism and the numbers tell a thousand stories.

It seems there is a problem when distinguishing between physical acts and reported claims, to the size and severity of fines issued.

Flash a pair of branded underpants? £80,000 fine. Humiliated by fans as you carry out your job representing your country? A pathetic £16,000.

Instead of discussing players’ form and performance, we are debating what constitutes a racist remark and speculating on whether feuding footballers will shake hands or not.

The Serbian fiasco will serve as a reminder that bigoted behaviour should not be tolerated at home or abroad.

It is time we showed the red card to racism — on and off the pitch.