A fan has been arrested for racially abusing former Manchester United and England player Rio Ferdinand as he watched Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side win 2-1 at the Molineux Stadium against Wolves on Sunday.
Fans at the Molineux booed as players took the knee before the game started, and Ferdinand tweeted after the game that he had been subjected to racist abuse.
“The last couple weeks, it’s been unreal to see fans back,” he wrote on Twitter.
“However to the Wolves fan who has just been thrown out for doing a monkey chant at me. You need to be dismissed from football & educated. Come meet me & I will help you understand what it feels like to be racially abused!”
The West Midlands Police’s official account replied to Ferdinand’s tweet and confirmed the fan had been arrested: “The fan has been arrested and is currently in custody. We DO NOT tolerate racist abuse.”
The last couple weeks, it’s been unreal to see fans back. However
To the Wolves fan who has just been thrown out for doing a monkey chant at me. You need to be dismissed from football & educated. Come meet me & I will help you understand what it feels like to be racially abused!
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) May 23, 2021
Fans returned to Premier League stadiums on May 17 after over a year of empty grounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, players began to take the knee as a sign of solidarity with players who experienced racist abuse while playing.
Ferdinand is the latest high-profile figure in English football to call out the racist abuse they have experienced.
United quartet Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Axel Tuanzebe (twice) and Lauren James as well as West Bromwich Albion‘s Romaine Sawyers, Chelsea’s Reece James and Southampton‘s Alex Jankewitz have been victims of racist abuse online this season.
English football, including clubs in the Premier League and Women’s Super League, undertook a four-day boycott of social media from April 30 to May 3 in response to the ongoing discriminatory abuse received online by players.