Troy Townsend Warns of Potential Racial Abuse


July 09, 2024 · 1 min read

Troy Townsend Warns of Potential Racial Abuse
FootBall | July 09, 2024
Troy Townsend warns that racists are eagerly awaiting moments when black players miss opportunities. (Image: Sky Sports)

Troy Townsend, former Kick It Out chief expressed concerns about racial targeting against England’s black players, noting that negativity often surfaces after negative moments like penalty misses. After England’s 5-3 penalty win against Switzerland in the Euro 2024 quarter-final, Townsend highlighted the racial abuse aimed at Bukayo Saka, who missed a decisive penalty in the Euro 2020 final. He emphasized that while fans generally support the team during positive times, they are quick to turn negative, especially towards black players.

Townsend pointed out the disparity in how white and black players are treated in such situations, citing historical incidents where white players who missed penalties were not racially targeted. He stressed the persistent issue of racism in football, particularly on social media platforms. Following the match, former England defender Rio Ferdinand posted a message celebrating the black players who took penalties, questioning the absence of racist abuse in that moment.

However, Troy Townsend cautioned that racial abuse could still resurface if England faces defeat or if players miss penalties in future matches. Delroy Corinaldi from the Black Footballers’ Partnership echoed similar concerns, noting the prevalent fear of racial abuse directed at players in such scenarios. He highlighted the loud minority on social media platforms who perpetuate these abuses.

Former England striker Emile Heskey acknowledged that despite progress in addressing racism, challenges remain. He emphasized the importance of ongoing education and support to combat racial discrimination in football effectively. Heskey expressed skepticism about significant changes in behavior among those prone to racist outbursts, especially during moments of disappointment or anger.

Overall, the reflections from Townsend, Corinaldi and Heskey underscored the ongoing battle against racism in football, emphasizing the need for continued efforts to educate and protect players from discrimination.