Racism Is Getting Worse - England Footballers Should Have Walked Off, Says Black Caller

15 October 2019, 00:56 | Updated: 15 October 2019, 07:51

A black caller told Tom Swarbrick that the England football team were wrong to carry on playing after its black players were racially abused.

Darren called in to the LBC host following the hatred aimed at a number of England footballers by Bulgarian spectators, during Monday night's match between the two nations in the city of Sofia.

England's players chose to stay on the pitch after being given the chance to walk off in protest - but the caller says this was the wrong decision.

Referee Ivan Bebek talking with England defender Tyrone Mings and manager Gareth Southgate
Referee Ivan Bebek discusses the racist abuse with England defender Tyrone Mings and manager Gareth Southgate. Picture: PA

Darren told Tom that "there is a line between bullying and bantering", and "then there is outright racism or homophobia", adding that "it's up to upstanding people to turn around and say 'no - that's not OK'."

He also said that: "if you continue to stay in that sort of environment, you are condoning that sort of behaviour. We have to draw a line somewhere, and that has to be by actions, now."

Bulgarian fans leaving the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia
Bulgarian fans leave the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, after Monday's match was stopped for the second time. Picture: PA

Tom responded and told Darren that he agreed with his other point - that society has become much less polite lately.

But he also added: "If we're saying that this is the most horrendous abuse that England players have ever suffered on their travels around the world and they didn't walk off, then watch at what stage are they ever go to walk off and not entertain their oppressors?"