West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez has been charged by the FA for racial abuse following an incident with Brighton defender Gaetan Bong.
The 28-year-old clashed with Bong during the Baggies’ 2-0 win over Brighton on January 13th – with Bong immediately going to referee Martin Atkinson to proclaim he had been racially abused by Rodriguez.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 8, 2018
The FA outlined that Rodriguez allegedly used “abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race” toward Bong. Rodriguez has denied the allegations but has up until the 16th of February to respond to the charge and West Brom will contest the matter.
Absolutely gutted and in disbelief at the situation I find myself in. I 100% deny the false allegation and will take the correct legal advice to prove my innocence.
— Jay Rodriguez (@JayRodriguez9) February 8, 2018
Footage from the game had shown an incident in which the pair collided, with Rodriguez then holding his nose and waving his hands to gesture a bad smell – with Bong proclaiming that Rodriguez had uttered,
“You are black and you stink.”
While nothing is concrete as of yet with investigations ongoing, Bong gave his account of the incident on French television last month, stating that the abuse he suffered was simply unacceptable in modern times.
“He was upset because I blocked him and after that he said some words. He said racist comments.
“I looked for the referee to tell him. First the referee told me to get back in position. I didn’t accept that so easily. I am a black man. We’re in 2018 and we cannot tolerate this. I hope there will be sanctions.”
The case is the latest in a number of high-profile racism cases in English football in recent years, with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez banned for eight games for abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, as well as an incident involving Chelsea’s John Terry and QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.
The incident will do little in promoting the growing message of tolerance in the game, and there is simply no place for it in sport or any walk of life.
This won’t be the last we hear of this incident.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena.