Paddy Power’s all-white cast calls every Chelsea fan a racist
Yesterday at Wembley Chelsea defeated Spurs 2-0 to win the Capital One Cup. But more importantly there was NO race riot. No white men in manmade fibres stopped a black man from boarding the Tube nor did they brawl with the self-styled ‘Yid Army’.
Police did make five arrests on the day. But none was for racist chanting.
To go with the police threats that they “may” arrest fans for racist chanting was Paddy Power offering football fans the opportunity to “PROVE YOU’RE NOT RACIST”.
We had hoped this was a lampooning of the police and the shrill and censorious anti-racsim outfit Kick It Out whose leader had called for Wembley to be “swamped” with moralising police officers, as if merely being a football fan made you a suspected Nazi (or vice versa).
But it was not. It really was the chance to be an un-racist, to publicly showcase that you were one of the enlightened, like David Cameron, every national newspaper editor, the Royal Family, the Metropolitan Police Force and pretty much everywhere else where a dark face is not a stain on the cue balls but a sign of the white leader’s moral goodness.
Said Paddy Power:
Chelsea fans were invited to ‘prove they’re not prejudiced’ before today’s Capital One Cup final – by having their photo taken with a Sikh, a Muslim woman in a burka, a black man and a woman in a wheelchair. The diversity-laden Kodak moment was designed to give the majority of Chelsea fans the chance to show that they don’t have an irresistible urge to racially abuse a black man when they see one – and to encourage fellow fans to ‘prove they’re not prejudiced’.
Why not a Sikh man in a burqa, a black man in a skirt and Hassidic Jew hat, a Muslim woman dressed as a glamour model and a woman in full Nazi regalia sat in a wheelchair? Come on. If you’re going to counter stereotypes, think a little.
Having branded all Chelsea fans as racists – and it is tempting for all football fans to now sing that song heard on the Paris Metro and wave a verbal two-fingers at the anti-football bigots ( ‘We‘re racist, we‘re racist, and that’s the way we like it, we like it, we like it‘) – we cast a glance at Paddy Power’s ‘bloggers’.
The writer in the bottom right corner could be black, as could the two albinos. Two out of the 24 appear to be women. But it doesn’t look all that diverse, even if you count the man with the ‘revese burqa’ across his eyes.
A look at Paddy Power’s board of directors reveals one woman from 11 members. No brown faces. No Asian, Muslim or Jewish names. But one is French.
And, unforgivably, none of this all-white board is hugging a black man.
And that’s racist!