"Adebayor, Adebayor. [Something kind of racist], and his mum's a [rhymes with Adebayor]."
So went the chant sung by Tottenham Hotspur supporters toward Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor at the Bernabeu as Spurs faced Real Madrid last season in the Champions League quarterfinals (the lyrics can be found here, if you don't already know them).
The song immediately caused a flurry of controversy, as the organization Football Against Racism in Europe sought disciplinary action against Tottenham from UEFA in the form of the £20,000 minimum fine set in the regulations for offensive or racist chanting.
While chants have been an integral part of the fan experience in football for decades, sometimes the supporters can take their taunts to an unnecessary and downright offensive level. This was indisputably one of those cases.
Adebayor himself tried not to take the chant too seriously, saying: "Big players better than me have tried to stop that, but it's not easy at all. Racist? We have done everything we can to show the red card to racism. But people are still into it, that's part of life."
While the song did not ultimately prevent Adebayor from making his move to Tottenham in a loan agreement that was finalized in the closing weeks of the summer transfer window, there's still an element of retrospective embarrassment and shame in having treated one of our own in such a way in the past.
To that effect, some Spurs fans have already begun proposing their own alterations to the song, this time to show their support of Tottenham's newest goal-scoring sensation.
On the supporters website Triffic Tottenham, one suggestion was this: "Adebayor, Adebayor. His parents are lovely, and he loves to score."
Other variations have included "Adebayor, Adebayor, we used to hate you, but not anymore," and "Adebayor, Adebayor, he'll score for us weekly, and make us top four."
One Bleacher Report commenter suggested "Adebayor, Adebayor, here's the key to the city, for as long as you score."
In any case, it's time to make up for the mistakes of our past and show Emmanuel Adebayor that he's welcome at White Hart Lane for as long as he wishes to stay. For that reason, I tend to prefer my own personal revision to the Adebayor song:
"Adebayor, Adebayor, we're really sorry about that stuff some of our supporters said to you and we're actually quite thrilled to have you on the squad."
Wait, were these supposed to rhyme?