Newcastle Fans Underfire for Wearing Saudi Cultural Thoubs During Club’s First Game

Published October 19th, 2021 - 08:26 GMT
AFP
AFP
Highlights
Kick It Out are planning talks with Newcastle to discourage fans from wearing tea towels on their heads in a misguided celebration of the club's new Saudi owners.

Thousands of supporters donned home-made head-dresses for the Public Investment Fund's first game in charge against Tottenham at St James Park on Sunday, creating a spectacle that dismayed Kick It Out and influential FA figures.

Kick It Out spent Monday collating reports of anti-discriminatory behavior from the weekend's fixtures as they do every Monday, and are waiting to discover if there were any specific complaints of incidents at Newcastle before contacting the club.

Sportsmail has learned the equality and inclusion group are likely to offer education workshops in Newcastle to fans to explain how wearing tea towels in an attempt to impersonate Arabs could be considered racist, offensive, or culturally insensitive.

Senior figures at the FA are also concerned by the situation and may become involved if it is not dealt with by the club. 

The sight of many members of the Toon Army wearing tea towels was particularly jarring as it took place at the Premier League's No Room for Racism campaign, which will run over the next fortnight with fans being asked to challenge and report any incidents of discrimination.

The issue of cultural appropriation has become a major talking point in UK sport this season.

Premiership rugby club Wasps called for a nationwide ban on the wearing of Native American headdresses by Exeter Chiefs fans earlier this month. 

Exeter is refusing to drop the Chief's moniker despite major American franchises undergoing rebrands, including the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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