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Morrison: 'It's a disgrace. It's 60s and 70s stuff, going back to the dinosaur years'

The former Ireland international has voiced his opinion on recent acts of racism in the Premier League.

Clinton Morrison celebrates scoring for Ireland in 2003.
Clinton Morrison celebrates scoring for Ireland in 2003.
Image: ©INPHO

FORMER IRELAND INTERNATIONAL Clinton Morrison has voiced his opinion on recent acts of alleged racial abuse in the Premier League, saying that “it’s a disgrace”.

Morrison, who earned 36 caps for the Boys In Green and travelled to the 2002 World Cup, says that he fears the progress made is slipping after two incidents in the space of a week.

Investigations into allegations of racial abuse towards Manchester City star Raheem Sterling continue after he was subjected to verbal taunts from a group of Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Elsewhere, a Tottenham fan was arrested after he threw a banana skin at Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during last week’s North London derby as the player celebrated a goal.

“It’s a disgrace,” ex-Crystal Palace striker Morrison told RTÉ 2fm’s Game On. 

“The thing is it’s happening too often in English football at the moment.

“Aubameyang… the guy said he didn’t realise when he threw the banana what the implications were going to be. If you throw a banana at a black person, you know what’s going to happen. That is 60s and 70s (stuff), it’s like we’re going back to the dinosaur years.

“I thought it was starting to change and evolve but the scenes were disgusting. But fair play to Raheem Sterling, he’s dealt with it really well.

“The press in England give him some terrible stick for no reason. He could be in a pound shop or flying Ryanair but because he’s on whatever money a week they think he should be in bigger shops and flying first-class everywhere he goes… He’s just trying to be a normal person. He’s handled the situation really well.”

Chelsea FC suspended four supporters yesterday as investigations continue, while Sterling himself posted a message on Instagram on Sunday morning, adding that newspapers “help fuel racism.”

sterling Raheem Sterling's Instagram post. Source: Raheem Sterling/Instagram.

While praising Sterling’s response, Morrison delved deeper into his own career, opening up on personal experiences, both at club level in England and while lining out for Ireland.

“When I was playing we used to get it every week at Millwall. We didn’t even want to go down the touchline and chase the ball the fans were so bad. 

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“I chose to play for Ireland. Being a black man that was born in England, I knew for a fact when I went to Ireland they could either love me or I could get a bit of stick. I can understand that over there, a black man playing for Ireland is totally different.

“But nine times out of 10 I’d say, the majority of people in Ireland were all brilliant to me.

“The only time I got racially abused was playing for Ireland in Russia. I knew straight away when I got out there I was going to get stick.

“But the best thing I did was put the ball in the back of the net. It probably made them (the Russian fans) do it even more.”

He added: “I would deal with it how Raheem Sterling would deal with it, just ignore them and carry on doing my business on the pitch because those small-minded people are not going to get the better of me.

“Something has to be done, it’s starting to get worse over here. Ban these fans when they do it for life. It is a disgrace. Everyone has to move on and stick together. It’s got to change, it’s not good enough.”

You can listen to the interview in full here:

Source: RTÉ2fm/SoundCloud

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Emma Duffy

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