Racism at football matches simply should not be tolerated. As it becomes more prevalent at matches, Clubs are said to be tackling it, hands on, to teach others a lesson. One club in particular, Manchester City has proven they will not be tolerating any form of racism.
Two Manchester City supporters have received five year football banning orders from the courts and lifetime bans from the Premier League title holders after they admitted using racist language.
Ian Baldry, 58, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, made a racist comment towards City winger Raheem Sterling as he celebrated scoring a goal in a Premier League home game against Bournemouth in December 2018. His friend, James McConnell, 57, of Newdale Road, Manchester, was heard making racist remarks about two match stewards at the same game at the Etihad Stadium.
Witnesses described McConnell as being drunk and abusive throughout the first half and regularly using foul language to insult the players on the pitch, said Greater Manchester Police.
He went on to make a comment about the race of a Bournemouth player, reportedly defender Tyrone Mings.
On Friday, both men were sentenced at Manchester Magistrates’ Court after they pleaded guilty to causing racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.
Baldry, was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service, while McConnell was told to complete 250 hours of unpaid work in the community.
Following sentencing, Detective Constable Chris Preston said: “There are few words that can be used to describe the behaviour of McConnell and Baldry during this incident but their actions were absolutely disgusting. Speaking more on the incident he said, “for them to brazenly and loudly use racist language in front of numerous other spectators as though it was completely normal is astonishing.”
In a statement, Manchester City said: “Following the sentencing of Ian Baldry and James McConnell at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and in line with Manchester City’s zero tolerance approach to discrimination, lifetime bans have been issued by the club. “The club would like to thank Manchester City supporters for reporting both incidents and their cooperation throughout the investigations.”