So yesterday was an interesting one on Arsenal Twitter.
Throughout the lock down, AFTV have been hosting a “watchalong”. It is an odd concept where people can watch them watching football. Not my cup of tea but seems to be enjoyed by some.
In the 90th minute, when Tottenham’s Son Heung-min was being substituted, Claude uttered “DVD going off”.
Now for those who are too young, or not from London, DVD is a racial slur used against those from China, Korea and the far east.
It derives North and East London where illegal DVD sellers would be selling their stock in high streets and pubs. They always carried plastic bags of DVDs, some films that were not even out in the UK. They were predominantly Chinese.
There grasp of the English language was limited. Mainly only capable of saying “DVD, DVD”. If you asked the quality, the response would always be the same: “Good quality, good DVD”.
If you asked “what else do you have” they would bring out a second bag, filled with porn. Literally if it exists, they had porn of it.
The sellers were actually embroiled in modern slavery.
They had been trafficked here for a better life from China. Had their passports taken off them and had to “earn” them back by selling illegal goods or working in prostitution I(for the women).
The “tax” of coming across was so high that very few would ever actually earn their freedom, and most would end up as a victim of modern slavery for a long period.
These illegal DVD sellers were all over North and East London. From Tottenham to Leyton, Walthamstow to Hackney. In the 00s you could not sit in a pub without one of them coming in trying to sell you a DVD.
This lead to people of Chinese origin being labelled “DVD”. A Chinese person would walk past and someone would utter “DVD”. This then extended to other people from the far east. People that “looked Chinese” but would be from Korea or elsewhere.
During the mid-00s, Park Ji-sung was staring for Manchester United. This led to man fans labelling him “DVD”. Shouting it at him when he came to the touchline. When he was substituted. It was casual racism.
Looking back on it, it was odd. You would not shout a racial slur at a black player, on an Asian. But it was deemed OK to scream it at a Chinese person.
The fact that I have used the racial slur numerous times in this blog but not mentioned any of the black or Asian slurs (N-word, P-word) shows that, on some level, it is still not considered “as bad”.
I will be completely open and honest, I used it. When on forums, I would not write “Park” but DVD. Everyone knew what I meant. Everyone did the same. I shouted out it from the stands. Looking back on it, it was odd. It was accepted and no one would ever pull you up on it. Not like they would if you used the N-word or P-word.
When Son arrived at Spurs, like Park many labelled him “DVD”.
Last year, a West Ham United fan was been fined after pleading guilty to a racially aggravated offence at a Carabao Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur at the London Stadium in October. He had called Son “DVD”. This was not an isolated case
This sort of racism towards those from China / Korea does not receive the kind of publicity that the racial abuse of those from a black or Asian origin gets. It is the same with people that still label those from an Irish background “pikey”. Listen to Tyson Fury on the subject.
Many call it “casual racism”. I do not actually like the term “casual racism”. It is just racism.
Many of those defending AFTV do some from a lack of knowledge. They do not realise that labelling Son “DVD” is a racial slur.
AFTV attempted to dupe everyone by saying that Claude was actually saying “Spurs will bring out a DVD after this victory”. It was clearly a lie and the fact the they have now deleted this video shows they know from the beginning it was wrong. It just took sponsors to pull their money to make them take a step back.
The attempted to defend Claude is what was most disappointing in this episode.
Claude aimed a racist slur at Son, he should have been a man and apologised. Instead they concocted an elaborate lie and came out aggressively supporting him.
Let’s remember that after Everton, Robbie went out of his way to label those who criticise AFTV as “racist thugs” and that they should “not be welcome at games”. There was zero evidence of racism.
He also sold a story to The Sun saying he was never able to take his father to Arsenal due to racism. Again, a claim which had zero evidence.
And recently he fronted a TV documentary discussing racism in football. One of the contributors was Cass Pennant.
At the time he was called out on have convicted football hooligan Pennant on the show. It was only weeks after he said “thugs had no place in the game”, yet he was happy to interview Pennant. Maybe Pennant was just his kind of thug?
AFTV have a history of brushing racism and xenophobia under the carpet.
Some of their comments include:
- Troopz questioning Granit Xhaka’s heritage saying he could not be Albanian because he had no heart
- Lee Gunner labelling Xhaka “Failbanian”
- Claude nicknaming Mohamed Elneny “Tutankhamun”
- “Yardman” abusing Stan Kroenke and Raul Sanlleh based on their nationality
And this is without taking into account the comments from “Mr DT” & “Lee Gunner”; both of whom have abused people from Turkey, India and Thailand previously.
Chuck in the homophobia and transphobia and it is clear and obvious that these people are of bad character. And Robbie turns a blind eye because they earn him a lot of money.
If AFTV really wanted to take a stand against racism, they would have acted yesterday correctly. They would have acted previously when they “stars” have racially abused players previously. They would have silenced the xenophobes that they put front and centre.
Instead they accept the racist, xenophobic, homophobic and transphobic abuse.
The fact that yesterdays “setting the record straight” video contained 14 adverts shows they have one interest and one interest only. Making money. AFTV monetise racism.
The Claude incident is the tip of an iceberg on a concept designed to spread hate to make money.
AFTV do not represent Arsenal fans.
Racism is unacceptable at The Arsenal – and those that defend racist comments are complicit
It is time to end them.