Claude Callegari has been indefinitely removed from his position as a contributor on AFTV due to a racist remark he made during Sunday’s North London derby.
Channel owner Robbie Lyle issued an apology on social media for Claude’s comment, aimed at Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min during an AFTV livestream, as well as a video published on the channel in the wake of the criticism.
Claude appeared to refer to Son as ‘DVD’ while he was being replaced late on in the derby and a response video put out by AFTV in an attempt to address the criticism sparked widespread backlash on social media.
Son is subbed off and Claude says “DVDs going off”. The constant casual racism towards Son is a joke pic.twitter.com/jOcG6XWbzs
— Mo (@thfcmo) July 13, 2020
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
An apology appeared on Robbie’s Twitter late on Tuesday night.
“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 wrote.
“As a channel that has millions of viewers around the world, I fully recognise the power that comments made by myself or people on our platform have, and it is paramount that we do not allow comments of this nature to be made in any form.
“As such, it is only appropriate that Claude is removed from the channel indefinitely. In no way do I or AFTV condone racism of any kind and it is important we take appropriate action in line with the comment made.
“I have spoken with representatives at @kickitout earlier today and must reiterate that this is not an issue I would ever try to sweep under the carpet or ignore. The response video was a mistake and I can only apologise that we did not take responsibility for the comment sooner.
“In this time we will ensure that Claude undertakes an education programme to understand the full severity of the remark made on Sunday, and that comments of a similar nature are under no circumstance made again in the future.”