Bristol City has launched an investigation into allegations of racist and anti-Muslim chants from a small section of supporters during the club’s 3-0 defeat away at Luton Town on Saturday.
The chants are said to have praised Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson), referred to Luton as “a small town in Asia”, amid other chants of “You’re not English anymore”, and the racialised slur “paedo”.
Steve Lansdown, chairman of Bristol City, condemned the racist abuse, adding that those responsible “will be banned from Ashton Gate and from purchasing tickets at future away matches”.
The club statement added that supporters of both clubs are assisting with the investigation.
“We will deal harshly with anyone found behaving in a racist manner. They will be banned from Ashton Gate and from purchasing tickets at future away matches.”
Steve Lansdown has re-affirmed #BristolCity's swift condemnation of any form of racist abuse or language.
Read more: 👇
— Bristol City FC (@BristolCity) October 20, 2019
Jon Lansdown, the club’s vice-chairman, condemned the racist abuse on Twitter.
Fans were quick to condemn the anti-Muslim and Islamophobic chants. One supporter tweeted, “minority of the away support was embarrassing- shouting paedo and singing Tommy Robinson’- next time stay away we don’t want you in our club”.
Some condemned supporters who were in denial about the extreme, far-right politics and thuggery of Yaxley-Lennon, and that some chants were indeed racist.
I'm not sure which is worse.
The "You're not English anymore"/"Tommy Robinson" chanting by Bristol City fans at Luton
Or the people flouncing around FB & Twitter and City forums now saying it's not racist.
At least a lot of City fans at the game (and now) are calling it out
— Tristan Cork BLive (@TristanCorkPost) October 20, 2019
Local journalists have exposed sections of the Bristol City fanbase which have attended far-right marches before, notably with the Football Lads Alliance in 2017.
One Bristol City fan, writing on Facebook, described how they left the game with twenty minutes remaining, citing their disgust at the “Asian/England/Tommy Robinson” chants, adding that a fellow supporter assaulted them when leaving.
A listener posted this in the private Facebook group about her experience of today’s game. pic.twitter.com/kchdsAeZC7
— One Stream in Bristol (@OSIBpodcast) October 19, 2019
Tell MAMA continues to document how the far-right (and those influenced by their narratives and ideology) have continued to exploit high-profile criminal CSE convictions to push a divisive and racialised narrative which targets Muslims more broadly, despite evidence on the ethnicity of perpetrators being subject to various caveats, and methodological concerns.
Tell MAMA has documented other examples of anti-Muslim and Islamophobic abuse of Muslim football fans, including at Salford FC last August.