Thursday 22 February 2018

Romelu Lukaku makes his first public comment on the 'racist chant' storm

Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku
Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Romelu Lukaku has thanked Manchester United fans for their support, but urged them to refrain from singing the chant that was deemed to be inappropriate by anti-racism campaigners.

United fans were chanting a song that made reference to the size of Lukaku’s manhood, with the Kick It Out group suggesting the racial stereotyping of the Belgian striker was inappropriate.

“We have contacted Manchester United regarding the issue and will be working closely with them and the Football Association to ensure that it is addressed swiftly,” said a Kick It Out spokesperson.

“If we receive any reports relating to the discriminatory chant, those will be passed on to the governing body and the perpetrators can expect to face punishment.

“Racist stereotypes are never acceptable, irrespective of any intention to show support for a player.”

Now Lukaku has urged United fans to ‘move on’ from the chant, in a twitter message posted on the club’s official account:

Meanwhile, former United midfielder Paul Ince has rejected claims that the chant is racist, as he insisted Lukaku would laugh off the tribute that has offended some observers.

“I don’t think the chant is racist,” Ince told Paddy Power. “I honestly think it’s a group of fans that have got carried away and did not expect the backlash they have got. I’d say it’s just a bit of fun, that’s got out of control now.

“For a player to hear that sung about themselves, I do think they’d think it was amusing, a bit of a laugh. If this chant was being sang at me when I was playing, I would just laugh it off and that would be it.

“Whether it’s racist or not – which I think is a massive grey area – from a club point of view, fans shouldn’t be singing that. I’m not sure what the need is to sing about a players’ penis is at all, the rest of the song is about him and that’s fine.”

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