Fan Arrested for Racist Abuse of Rio Ferdinand at Wolves vs. Manchester UnitedMay 23, 2021
A fan was arrested during Sunday's match between Manchester United and Wolves at Molineux Stadium after racially abusing former United and England defender Rio Ferdinand, per ESPN.
Ferdinand addressed the situation on Twitter after the match:
Rio Ferdinand @rioferdy5
The last couple weeks, it’s been unreal to see fans back. However<br><br>To the Wolves fan who has just been thrown out for doing a monkey chant at me. You need to be dismissed from football & educated. Come meet me & I will help you understand what it feels like to be racially abused!
"The fan has been arrested and is currently in custody," the West Midlands Police Department responded in a tweet. "We DO NOT tolerate racist abuse."
ESPN also reported that Wolverhampton fans booed the players while they took a knee before the game in protest of racism.
"It is disappointing. People have waited all these months, over a year, to get back in a stadium and then you come in with ignorance like that. Uncalled for, not needed, not warranted and disappointed really," Ferdinand told BT Sport after the match.
"But listen, that's just a very small minority in this stand that was doing it. We were having banter with the fans and stuff. The emotion and atmosphere they created today was fantastic and that is just one person who is trying to ruin it for everyone."
Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball
"I'd love to meet up with the fella and just educate him a little bit.<br><br>"Punishing people without education isn't the way forward."@rioferdy5 offers his thoughts and feelings on a shameful racist incident at Molineux.<br><br>The person in question is in police custody.#DrawTheLine pic.twitter.com/acVqs8ngHB
As ESPN noted, a number of current Premier League players have faced racist abuse online this season, including Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
And eight men were arrested and four others questioned after allegedly abusing Tottenham's Heung-Min Son online, per the AFP (h/t Yahoo Sports).
Soccer players and clubs in various English leagues boycotted social media for four days in April to protest racist abuse, along with many players taking a knee before games, an homage to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's pregame protest of police brutality and racial discrimination in 2016.