Closing Ranks on Racism

Posted by on Oct 20, 2009 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A row went on down near Sloper Road on Saturday with Cardiff City’s one time Perugia hit man, Jay Bothroyd accusing an unspecified Crystal Palace player of a racist comment directed towards his team mate Michael Chopra. According to Bothroyd, “I wasn’t there but I spoke to Chops and he said one of their boys made a racist comment to him”. In return, Palace have adopted a “bring it on” stance, describing the accusation as “outrageous” and claiming they would welcome an inquiry.

The BBC’s highlights show featured a centre circle rumpus where a Palace player and Chopra are restrained by a bevy of peace makers worthy of light blue helmets. So, without naming names, it’s pretty easy to identify who might be at the centre of the accusation (although some reports have identified the argy bargy to have continued into the tunnel).

However, and bewilderingly, the latest is that Cardiff have decided to take no further steps.

Clearly somebody is in the wrong here and there is a fear that the PR and “Reputation Management” squad have applied a gag to matters. In these times of super-injunctions, it is often reasoned that bad publicity is flat bad for whoever is involved, not least the Championship itself, so pressure would appear to have been brought to bear for everyone to just forget about it all. Of course, a more benign reason for this volte-face could well be lack of evidence but at the very least, the incident needs investigating. The Premier League have bravely ignored Sir Alex’s half hearted apology to Alan Wiley and pressed ahead with action; our league’s overlords should do the same in this case — either the Palace man is guilty, or Bothroyd has lied — on a day that the Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football Campaign was highlighted, a whitewash of this situation would be evidence of a lack of moral fibre.

Rob Langham
Rob Langham is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 50 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.


  1. gerschenkron
    October 27, 2009

    Extremely enjoyable intimation that Alex Ferguson made a racist remark to Alan Wiley in there – splendid!

  2. Lanterne Rouge
    October 27, 2009

    You'll get us into trouble with your imaginings


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