Just last week a black man was racially abused in a Paris subway station by rowdy football fans. A group of Chelsea football fans were preventing Souleymane S, a black man, from entering the cart while chanting, “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it.”
Richard Barklie, a director of the World Human Rights Forum, was one of the three men identified by the UK’s Metropolitan Police after analyzing a video of the scene. Barklie offered his “sincerest apologies for the trauma and stress suffered by Mr. Souleymane” and assured he took no part in the racial or physical abuse of the black man.
Chelsea confirmed this past Friday that it had suspended five people from attending games at its Stamford Bridge stadium and has apologized to the victim for their fans. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho even invited Mr. Souleymane to attend the return match against Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge.
Support was shown for Mr. Souleymane at the first game since the incident when the fans held banners reading: “Black or white, we are all blue” and “No racism at the Bridge. That’s the way we like it” making a play on words of the original insults toward the black man.
“In 21st-Century, multi-racial Britain, sport is the catalyst and the key that engages and unites. For me it’s the most potent weapon for breaking down barriers,” former Chelsea player, Paul Elliott, said at the British Ethnic Diversity Awards.