A Black soccer player is speaking out after he says he was subjected to racist taunts from fans of an opposing team during a recent match-up in Italy.
Belgian player Michy Batshuayi, a striker for the Borussia Dortmund soccer team, took to Twitter this week and accused Atalanta fans of making monkey noises at him during the Europa League clash on Thursday, which ended in a 1-1 draw, ESPN FC reported.
“2018 and still racists monkey noises in the stands … really?! *face palm emoji*,” Bathshuayi tweeted. “#GoWatchBlackPanther”
— Michy Batshuayi (@mbatshuayi) February 22, 2018
Borussia Dortmund officials quickly condemned the racist chants, saying they fully believed their player’s accusation.
“Such behavior is completely unacceptable, in football stadiums as much as in all other areas of life,” a team spokesman told the sports site.
A spokesperson for the UEFA Europa League also told ESPN FC they were “in the process of gathering information and reviewing the official’s reports,” regarding the incident.
Atalanta president Antonio claimed he didn’t hear the chants, but offered his apologies to Batshuayi “if they did happen.”
Reports of racism in the world of soccer are nothing new, however. Late last year, up-and-coming English footballer Rhian Brewster, 17, said he was subjected to similar acts of racist taunting and intimidation both on and off the field.