Fred Speaks Out About Racism, Lighter Incident in Manchester Derby

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Yesterday’s Manchester Derby at the Etihad, won by United 2-1, was marred by an ugly racist incident. Manchester United midfielder Fred was subjected to racial abuse by a City supporter, and hit by a cigarette lighter that was hurled on the pitch.

The supporter has been publicly identified and Manchester City Football Club released a statement indicating that they are investigating the incident. Fred has spoken out about what transpired, saying that he didn’t realize what was happening at the time, but learned the details upon seeing the video in the locker room.

Ugly incidents of racism continue plaguing the beautiful game, and Fred hit out at this recent trend, saying we live in a “backward society.”

Fred opened up to ESPN Brasil about it.

“Unfortunately, we are still in a backward society. [It is a shame] we still have to live with that in 2019. On the field, I didn’t see anything. I saw it only in the locker room afterwards,” said Fred.

“The guys showed me. He even threw a lighter and it hit me. I try not to care about that. I try to look ahead.

“Unfortunately, this is happening in some stadiums. It happened here, it happened in Ukraine with some friends. It’s sad, but we have to keep our heads up and forget about that. We can’t give them any attention because that’s all they want. I spoke to the referee after the match, they will do something about it and that’s all.

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“We are all the same regardless of skin color, hair and gender. We came from the same place and we all go to the same place when it’s all said and done. Thank God I have a lot of friends here in the locker room who hugged me, like Lingard. I don’t want to think about it. I just want to move on.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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