Musical producer

Scottish sports producer ‘in tears’ after racist abuse at Ibrox and Rangers pub

A sports producer and Rangers fan has said he won’t let the racists win after he was discriminated against twice within hours during and after attending an Ibrox game.

Bobby Nwanze, 32, went to cheer on Gers in their Scottish Cup tie with Stirling Albion on Friday January 21 – but was forced to leave after being abused by another supporter in the stands.

To make matters worse, he was then subjected to further racist comments at a Rangers bar where he stopped to watch the rest of the game.

Reporting from Edinburgh live that the saga upset the independent sports producer to the point that he was left in tears in the car as he drove home to Edinburgh.

Bobby has produced sports content for the BBC

He said: “The Rangers squad suits me. In the past the squad wasn’t too diverse, but when you look at the squad now it has completely changed.

“Captain Tavernier is black like Bassey, Balogun, Aribo, Morelos, Sakala, Bacuna and Kamara. So for me I identify with them.

“To be honest, I’m often afraid to go to live football matches because I fear racism will happen there.

“But my friends Abie, John and I decided to go into the Scottish Cup tie because we thought it would be a nice family atmosphere because it was the fourth round of the cup.

“About 25 minutes into the game, I’m talking about football with fans around me, I’m having a good time.

“Then I see an older man waving at me, he looks at me and says ‘I don’t understand a word you’re saying, do you even speak English?’

“I turned to my friends and asked if he just said what I thought he said. After that I just felt sick and my mood completely dropped. My friends said d trying to ignore it but I couldn’t.”

Upset over the abuse, Bobby and his friends left Ibrox and headed to a supporters bar around the corner from the stadium to watch the second half of the game,

as Rangers won 4-0


However, shortly after his arrival, Bobby claims he was once again the target of racial abuse, with punters calling him after Gers striker Fashion Sakala.

He continued: “When we walked in it was like everyone stopped to watch me walk towards the bar – it was weird.

“We ordered drinks and just went to a quiet corner to watch the rest of the game. It was then that a middle-aged man approached me.

The independent sports journalist said he couldn't stay at Ibrox for the second half
The independent sports journalist said he couldn’t stay at Ibrox for the second half

“He said, ‘You’re black, what does Fashion Sakala mean?’

“My friend asked me what he said and when I repeated it, they were absolutely amazed. He then continued to call me Fashion Sakala, even though I asked him to leave me alone to watch the match.

Fans often sing a chant about Sakala to the tune of Shakira Waka Waka – and torment Bobby with the song as he and his friends try to watch the game.

“He was sitting with a group of 20-30 mates and they all started singing the song Fashion Sakala to me,” he continued.

“I don’t mind joking, but my race is not a joke for the amusement of others.

“The guy then sat next to me again and started touching my arms saying, ‘You’re a big boy huh, you’re still big.

“He kept bugging me before I got stern and told me to leave it alone. At that point he told me I shouldn’t be there.

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“Before we finished our drinks and left, the guy went to his friends and started acting aggressive.

“For the ten minutes that it lasted, everyone in the bar was looking at me and not the game.

“I burst into tears when we got back to the car.”

Bobby, who has produced sports reporting for the BBC and reporting on lower league football, said he wanted to stay and watch the rest of the game at Ibrox – but would not stand to be racially tormented .

He added: “My friends say it shouldn’t happen, but I hope they [now] seeing why I don’t go to football games and why I prefer watching games on TV, or why I’m so selective about which games I go to.

Rangers fan Bobby says football is no place for racism
Rangers fan Bobby says football is no place for racism

“Every time I go to a football game, I expect it. My wife, who is also mixed-race, and so does our son.

“Imagine I went with my son? People took their kids, it was an affordable game. Imagine explaining to my son why we are leaving the floor. That’s what makes me sad.

“People told me it was good, I was the fattest person in the bar, but the truth is I have to be smart.

Bobby believes that anti-racism education needs to be strengthened and that parents and grandparents have a responsibility not to pass racist stereotypes onto their children.

He said: “The problem is that the new generation is learning from the old. My child goes to kindergarten and mixes in all demographics with no problem, but by the time he gets to primary and secondary school, it could be different.

“And where do children learn this kind of behavior from? The older generation.

“We need to seriously punish racial abuse. The ignorance is unbelievable at the moment and the fact that it took until last year to see the first jail sentence for racial abuse in a football game in says a lot.

Bobby with his uncle, human rights activist and scientist Sir Geoff Palmer
Bobby with his uncle, human rights activist and scientist Sir Geoff Palmer

“I hope I can break the mold by becoming a full-time sports producer, so other people can see me succeed and it’s not seen as just a ticking exercise.

Bobby currently works as a property assistant with Edinburgh City Council, but hopes to land a full-time career in sports production in the near future.

He is Chair of Edinburgh City Council’s BAME Network and Diversity Ambassador for South Edinburgh in the capital.

He is also a student of Construction Built Environment at Heriot Watt University, where his uncle Sir Geoff Palmer became Scotland’s first black professor.

Rangers fended off racism with his “Everyone” campaign, which challenges supporters to be an ‘ambassador’ for the club by being ‘respectful, tolerant and inclusive’.

The club says of the move: “Our Everybody, Everybody campaign represents our core values ​​and sends a clear message of inclusion, solidarity and zero tolerance to all forms of discrimination – on and off the pitch. .

“We feel it is the responsibility of everyone associated with the club – fans, players, staff and the wider community – to help create a positive environment where our differences are celebrated, our common bond is our love of Rangers. and no one is left out.”

The supporter bar in question was contacted for comment by the Daily Record and said it was looking into the allegations.

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