Soccer

FA slammed for saying John Yems ‘not conscious racist’ and ‘abuse’ was ‘banter’

The Football Association have been slammed for concluding former Crawley boss John Yems was 'not a conscious racist' in an independent panel report.

Yems has been banned for 18 months by the FA but the governing body concluded he was not a 'conscious racist' despite using discriminatory language, having told Muslim players "your people blow up stuff with vests", among other sickening comments.

Having been dismissed by Crawley in May last year he was handed a ban earlier this month, but the FA has now released the report, which has been criticised for its language and conclusions.

READ MORE: John Yems called player 'curry muncher' and told Muslims 'your people blow up stuff with vests'

Yems used Arnold Schwarzenegger's name to emphasise the N-word and was also found to have called black players "Zulu warriors" and described Muslim members of the team as "terrorists". Yems also called one player a "curry muncher".

Yems also made a remark about "how dark his skin is" to a player who had returned to the club after representing Grenada and frequently asked multiple African players whether they ate jerk chicken. That was despite being told several times it was a Jamaican dish.

Overall, he was found guilty of 12 charges of misconduct. Four allegations against him were dismissed, including more supposed terrorism remarks and a claim that he said black people do not go fishing because they would stab the fish.

In a statement released relating to the FA's report on Wednesday (January 18), Kick It Out, an anti-racism campaign supported by the PFA, Premier League and FA, hit out at the conclusions.

The statement read: "The discriminatory language outlined in The FA independent panel report is simply shocking. Given the seriousness of the incidents detailed, it is very hard to understand how The FA independent panel have concluded that 'Mr Yems is not a conscious racist'.

"We do not share that viewpoint. The behaviour outlined in the report must be called out for exactly what it is, racism and Islamophobia.

"To speak plainly, a fifteen month ban given the severity of the 11 proven charges is a slap in the face to the victims of the discriminatory abuse detailed in this report and anyone who has been subject to racism or Islamophobia.

"Furthermore, to reduce his prolonged string of offensive, Islamophobic, and racist remarks to simply being 'misplaced jocularity' shows a total lack of understanding about the damage that this language can cause or the power dynamics that exist in the game.

"This decision also sets a dangerous precedent by allowing perpetrators to hide behind a 'banter' defence when intentionally using harmful and discriminatory language, and we will be in touch with The FA to understand how the panel came to their conclusion.

"We applaud the courage of the victims of this case for coming forward and would encourage anyone involved in the game who sadly find themselves in similar situations to get in touch with us at Kick It Out."

That damning assessment of the FA has been echoed by fans and former players alike, with former Arsenal and England striker turned respected pundit Ian Wright in agreement.

Wright said: "This man’s words and actions forced young players, the future of our game, out of his club. Who cares how he felt about it!! He destroyed their dreams.

"The message this ruling sends is disgraceful. But don't worry the FA's next campaign will have a lovely video about 'progress'!"

The FA's report stated: "We regard this as an extremely serious case. We have accepted that Mr Yems is not a conscious racist.

"If he were, an extremely lengthy, even permanent, suspension would be appropriate.

"Nevertheless, Mr Yems' 'banter' undoubtedly came across to the victims and others as offensive, racist and Islamophobic. Mr Yems simply paid no regard to the distress which his misplaced jocularity was causing."

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