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Hibs star opens up on ‘off the scale’ abuse in football

As teams across Scotland get set to take part in Show Racism The Red Card’s day of action, Hibs defender Ryan Porteous has spoken out on the abuse he received following his red card against Rangers at Ibrox.

The Easter Road star was sent packing for a late challenge on Gers star Joe Aribo and shared some of the sickening abuse he was sent in the aftermath – and insisted more needs to be done to stop a repeat.

(Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

The defender is currently serving a ban as a result of the red card he picked up and, while he freely admits ‘old-fashioned stick’ is part and parcel of football, he thinks the abuse crosses the line too often and is influencing another generation of youngsters to think it is acceptable.

“I do think old-fashioned ‘stick’ is a part of football and, being a player, you have to take it,” Porteous said [Times].

“But when a 22-year-old guy like me makes a challenge on a football pitch, and then receives death threats, and gets slandered by many people as a racist because I dared to tackle a black Rangers player, and is then wanted ‘to die of cancer’, I just think all of that is wrong.

“Maybe some players wouldn’t come out and talk about these things … they would shy away from it. But I can’t. It’s totally off the scale and it has to be called out.

“You have a generation of kids growing up, who might see this stuff – religious abuse, gender abuse, homophobic abuse – and think it is normal, and think they can get away with it.

“Kids today they can see adults calling someone a ‘Fenian’ or a ‘tarrier’ and they think this is acceptable, they maybe don’t know any different. Well, it’s not acceptable. It can’t keep happening. It needs to be called out again and again.

“Here we are living in 2021 and you still get stuff like homophobic abuse going on.”

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Categories: News
Tags: HibsRyan Porteous