A popular online Arsenal fan video channel have been forced to apologise after an alleged racist remark was made during a recent broadcast.
AFTV formerly known as Arsenal Fan TV, is fronted by Gunners fan Robbie Lyle has gained mass popularity in recent years with a selection of supporters gaining fame among the social media football fraternity for their views on their side.
During their live stream of the North London derby match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, Claude Callegari could be heard making a racist comment about Tottenham forward Heung-min Son.
The South Korean, who had earlier scored in the match to help his side to a 2-1 victory was replaced during injury time to which Claude could be heard remarking ‘DVD’s going off’.
‘DVD’ is a racist term directed at Asians referencing the selling of DVDs from market stalls, and it has been used against Son in the past when a West Ham fan was fined following a racially aggravated offence in October of last year (Guardian).
Lyle initially appeared in a video alongside Claude where he tried to justify that the remark was ‘another DVD will be coming out’ rather than making a derogatory comment towards the 27-year-old.
Absolutely disgraceful and pitiful response from Robbie and Claude from AFTV. At no point did Robbie point out that Claude made the DVD comment the exact moment Son was being substituted. Glossing over racism once again. Shameful #AFTVOUT #GETOUTOFOURCLUB pic.twitter.com/GIy7dPmaq0
— Fun With Flares (@Funwithflares) July 14, 2020
Sponsors of the channel including Harry’s have already stated that they will no longer be featuring their brand on AFTV.
No, it wasn't just for show – We do not condone the language used in this video and will no longer be working with this channel
— Harry's (@harrys) July 14, 2020
Lyle has since announced that Claude has been removed from the channel moving forward and apologised for his actions.
I would like to sincerely apologise for the derogatory remark heard on the AFTV livestream on Sunday, and for the response video that we put out today where we failed to apologise and take onus for the comment.
— Robbie Lyle (@ItsDonRobbie) July 14, 2020
Lyle’s actions are too little too late, his attempt to try and justify Claude’s comments were certainly in poor taste and questions will certainly be raised on whether it was a commercial decision to try and hold onto sponsorship revenue.
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