Steve Doughty: Dear black footballers…

Toughen up you big girls! Why are you whingeing about a bit of (alleged) racial abuse on the pitch? You do realise black players 20 years ago had it much worse 20 don’t you? As for this whole ‘kick racism out of football’ malarky it’s getting dead boring.

I paraphrase, but here are a few choice quotes from Steve Doughty today:

When we read about British footballers levelling complaints of racism against each other, it’s worth making the comparison with what passes as everyday behaviour in a nearby country we are often invited to admire.

Translated: let’s not take racism in British football seriously, because other countries are much worse.

the horrid and open abuse of the past is gone. When crowds pick on black players these days it is the exception, and the fact is quickly reported and condemned… Every club seems to be promoting a kick racism out of football campaign, beyond the point of boredom.

Translated: OK, so a couple of players claim to be have been racially abused, so what? Not like they get it all the time is it? Worse, even though racism isn’t that bad anymore the bloody clubs keep banging on about stopping racism all the bloody time. (Or, he might mean that football without racism is boring.)

I took my elderly mother to watch a game at Highbury for the last time before they knocked it down… In the second half Arsenal sent on an African forward called Kanu. Kanu could either be brilliant or spend all afternoon falling over the ball. On this occasion he kept falling over the ball. A youngish bloke sitting in front of us lost his temper after one particularly ludicrous pratfall and yelled, at the top of his voice, something about ‘you black b*****d’.

There was a terrible silence.

The bloke leaped up and wheeled round 180 degrees in the same movement, shoved his face straight in front of my mother’s, and said in firm and formal tones: ‘I’m terribly sorry about the racist comment.’

You could not imagine such a thing happening at a football match 30 years ago.

Hurrah, you see? Racists apologise politely to old ladies straight afterwords! Aren’t the blacks living in a dream world! This is wonderful progress:

Football reflects us all as it always did, and these days it’s both racist and not racist at the same time. Things may not be perfect but, at the end of the day, Gary, there are worse things to complain about.

Football, you see, reflects us all according to Steve Doughty which makes us all racist and not racist at the same time – by which he means we all complain about ‘black bastards’ but we do apologise straight afterwords if an old lady happens to be present.

I’m pretty sure Steve Doughty isn’t speaking for me here.

Anyway, he does make his message to black footballers clear right at the end – just in case they didn’t pick up on the vibes throughout the article:

So, Mr Evra and Mr Ferdinand, I know you feel insulted. But perhaps in this case you could just put up with it and get on with the game.

Another wonderful contribution to ‘Rightminds’ – Simon Heffer must be so proud.


  • Rich says:

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. But if not, and they feel insulted, that they will just put up with it.”

  • Staggering. The Mail has always had racist undertones but this is the most blatant I have read in a long time.

    I have another word: disappointed.

    Disappointed that we still live in a society where prats like Doughty can make disgusting comments like that in the media.

  • uksceptic says:

    Right Minds have now removed this article. I’m just going to sit here and wait for an apoology from Steve Doughty and the Daily Fail …

  • Andrew McLeod says:

    As is generally always the comment – this would be hilarious were it not an actual publication from a freely available newspaper in 2011

  • Mr Larrington says:

    What a massive twat that bloke is.

  • Souperman says:

    I’m willing to bet large amounts of money that the Highbury incident happened in Steve Doughty’s head and nowhere else.

  • Chris says:

    Why does he refer to Kanu as “African” when it is easy to find out that he is Nigerian? You wouldn’t call Eric Cantona “European” or Maradona “South American”.

    I know that Doughty isn’t wrong but his choice of words interests me.

  • Rich says:


    You would call Maradona ‘South American’, though, at least if you’re a football commentator, because it’s far away enough from where pundits live not to have any distinguishing characteristics finely divided into something as small as a country (“Gallic flair”, “Italian Defending”, “organised Germans”).

    It was the same in the rugby World Cup; it was almost as if they were contractually obliged not to call Argentina Argentinians but ‘the South Americans.’

  • Claire says:

    He’s not American is he, Americans often confuse the continent Africa with a country of the same name which only they know about.