Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has expressed his stance on the issue of racist abuse. Per Henry, in football, racism came from the stands.
“It didn’t start yesterday or the day before yesterday,” he said to The Sun.
“It has been going on forever,” said Henry, “In football, racism came from the stands. There are many stories. I have them, everybody has them.”
Henry is not the first footballer of color to speak up against racism. He is one of many, including Romelu Lukaku.
Not just in stadiums, the abuse persists on social media too. Indeed, Henry quit social media over racism.
And Henry said: “But I say, we say, I say, we say, we say, we say. ‘What was that?’ ‘How do you feel?’ ’Did you sleep well that night?’ ‘What thoughts did you wake up with?’
He continued: “I say we talk, I say we talk – I’m done talking. I’m done talking. They ask me, and I say, ‘Turn on the video from five years ago.’”
“There is freedom of speech. But in an airport, a cinema, a police station, you can’t shout anything. My point: there has to be accountability,” he said.
“Wilfried Zaha was insulted and then it turned out the guy was 12 years old. Where did you get the account from? How can we not know who owns the account? Oh, come on, you’ve got ways! Passport number, insurance number, health insurance.”
“There must be some accountability. It can’t be, “Sorry, it’s up to the user, we didn’t know. We will delete his account,” he spoke up.
“Sometimes people use nicknames to expose something going on in their country or elsewhere and don’t want to get caught. That’s great. But if nicknames are misused, we need a way to find out who owns the account so there are consequences.”