Patrice Evra speaks out on racist abuse and how to combat it
The former Manchester United defender, who spent one year at the club before moving to Barcelona, said racist abuse on Twitter is ‘not acceptable’ and is something ‘every club in the world needs to take action against’.
Evra, who won the Champions League with the club in the 2014-15 season, was then forced to reveal he had made a controversial phone call to Valencia’s director Josep Maria Lopez in February, where he described the racist abuse to the club’s president Quiniros Liukieros, as he was leaving United’s training ground.
He is now the subject of a number of legal proceedings as a result of the alleged phone call.
Although he has now become a vocal critic of social media and said he does it to get a reaction, he recently spoke to TheJournal.ie to discuss the abuse he has received and what he plans to do about it.
I’m not going to go into the details of what happened on that phone call and the two other phone calls, but I will talk to you about the reaction I received from some people when I decided to speak out.
The reaction I received from some Valencia fans was terrible. Some players were like, ‘You’re a fucking clown, why do you always get such a bad reaction?’ And some didn’t even think I did it.
The worst is when all your fans go on a campaign against you. That was the main thing that really hurt me. To see my players go on a campaign against me – even if they do it against me. It’s not going to bring me happiness.
You’ve been a victim of a lot of different things in your career, I suppose, and it’s really hard to get over. But at the same time what I learned from it is that not all of the people who criticise you are on your side. They’re not in this for the right reasons – it’s just because they don’t like or approve of you.
I’ve been the victim of racism, but I’ve been my own biggest defender and it’s really easy to get dragged into this. It’s really easy to get sucked into all these things.