'It gave me goosebumps' footballer tells LBC how racism made him feel

23 December 2019, 11:10

One caller told LBC his firsthand experiences of being on the receiving end of racism on the football pitch, in an emotional call he said he was "heartbroken."

Vernon called in and told James O'Brien he had played non-league football and received racist abuse while on the pitch, James asked him how it made him feel.

"I had goosebumps," the caller said as he told LBC how he felt hearing racist chants aimed at him for the first time.

He said "it was very loud," emotively he told James "you come off the pitch as a winner, but I was heartbroken to receive that abuse."

He told James he didn't react but tried to remain professional.

The caller was giving James his first hand experiences
The caller was giving James his first hand experiences. Picture: LBC

James took the opportunity to ask Vernon if he could see "somebody doing monkey chants at a football game, very specifically a football game, who wouldn't necessarily come across as racist in any other context?"

The former footballer said he thought when people go to matches it's "the person within" and "it's just wrong, I don't understand how it's got so bad."

James said it feel people no longer feel stifled or silenced, and that there are plenty of people who believe they can say what they like.

Watch the whole moving exchange in the video at the top of the page.