The PFA is disappointed that The FA has decided not to carry forward Wycombe Wanderers’ complaint of alleged racial abuse from a Fleetwood Town representative toward Adebayo Akinfenwa due to a lack of evidence.
It is abundantly clear that a white player with a similar stature to Akinfenwa would never be described in the way he was during this incident. Black people have battled dehumanisation for centuries, and the PFA strongly condemns the use of all disparaging remarks that compare Black players to animals.
This type of hurtful, derogatory language is unacceptable, regardless of intent, and Adebayo showed great courage in coming forward to report this incident, which tarnished what should have been a night of celebration for Wycombe Wanderers.
We recently published a report about racial bias in football commentary, and this incident demonstrates that bias extends to problematic language casually used on our pitches and in the dugouts. We encourage every football stakeholder to read our report, acknowledge the impact of the language they use – consciously or unconsciously – to describe Black players and take steps to address their bias.
We share Adebayo’s disappointment that this allegation will not be upheld, especially since he took steps to speak publicly about the incident’s emotional impact. We are in contact with Adebayo, and will continue to offer him our support.