Rio Ferdinand Recalls Racism From His Time in Premier League After Mike Maignan & AC Milan Walked Off Over Chants

Published 01/23/2024, 10:30 AM EST

Follow Us

via Reuters

In the vibrant world of soccer, where cheers and applause generate symphony, an unsettling note has crept up. Racism, the perennial enemy of the beautiful game, showcased its ugly head once again during a recent Serie A clash between AC Milan and Udinese. The victim was Milan’s goalkeeper, Mike Maignan, who stormed off the pitch after the incident. The happening resonated deeply with the Manchester United legend. 

America’s Favorite Video Today

Likewise, Rio Ferdinand faced similar battles during his playing career. Ferdinand reflected on his playing days, recalling a time when racial abuse confrontation was a lonely battle. Let’s delve deeper and uncover the Red Devils’ icon stance on this battle.

Rio Ferdinand on the shifting landscape of the fight against racism

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In an exclusive conversation on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE, the former Manchester United center-back detailed a contrast between the past and present in dealing with racist acts. Ferdinand was asked if he’d get in trouble in his playing days if he walked off the pitch. “Oh yeah!” Ferdinand affirmed. The seasoned pundit claimed that he would have been labeled as ‘a troublemaker’ if he reported racist abuse to authorities back in his time, which is considerably not the case now.

If a man called you a c**t, you’re in his face straight away. But, if a man calls you black this, or monkey, or whatever, and you’re in his face, he’ll say, ‘He’s a bit of a troublemaker. I mean it’s only words; sticks and stones.’ That’s what you would’ve always heard back in the day.”

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest Soccer stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

“It’s not happening now. There are too many platforms and avenues now for the players. They are too powerful now to allow that stuff to happen anymore. This is a time for the players to be strong, and the only way they can be strong is by being unified,” Ferdinand added.

Rio Ferdinand Recalls ‘Confrontations’ With Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United

Ferdinand also sees a glimmer of hope in the current landscape of soccer and its fight against racism. Maignan’s walkout, backed by his team, serves as a testament to this newfound strength. It’s a message that racism has no place in soccer, and players will no longer be silenced.

AC Milan’s Mike Maignan speaks out after racist abuse

The focal point of this episode is AC Milan’s goalkeeper, Mike Maignan. The Frenchman, visibly affected by the monkey noises and racist chants, brought the game to a halt during the first half. As per protocol, the stadium authorities issued a warning and emphasized that the match would be suspended due to such behavior.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Maignan revealed his distress with the situation after Milan’s 3-2 victory, and said, “I said we cannot play football like this. It is not the first time it has happened this way. We have to say that what they are doing is wrong. We came back out wanting to work even harder to win because the best response is to win.

As the soccer world grapples with the aftermath of yet another racism incident, the voices of Maignan and Ferdinand emphasize the importance of fighting against racism. While the fight is far from over, the tide is turning slowly. All eyes will be on Mike Maignan when he returns to action strong.

WATCH THIS STORY: Cristiano Jr’s Insane Training Schedule

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Sahil Sharma

503Articles

One take at a time

I am Sahil Sharma, a dedicated soccer writer with a profound commitment to the beautiful game. My journey as a soccer enthusiast dates back to my childhood, but it was in 2014, when Real Madrid clinched their historic 10th UEFA Champions League title, the famed La Decima, that my passion for the sport truly ignited. That momentous triumph transformed me into an ardent Madridista.
Show More>

Edited by:

Jacob Gijy

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today