Tamworth boss Gary Smith reckons some football fans are ‘beyond help’ when it comes to educating them about racism and diversity.
Liverpool trio Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane were sent racist emojis on Instagram ahead of the Reds Champions League tie with Real Madrid.
The incident is the latest in a recent spate of players receiving abuse, with racism in football on the rise, according to ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ founder Shaka Hislop.
Lambs legend Smith says he has experienced similar abuse himself in the past.
But with pressure increasing on social media companies to do more to combat online abuse, Smith doesn’t feel there’s that much they can actually do.
“As long as I can shut my account down and open a new one on the same day, there’s no way they can ever stop this stuff,” Smith said.
“It’s mind-boggling as to why someone would sit behind a keyboard when their team have lost and, as far as they’re concerned, it’s the fault of only the black footballers.
“It’s absolutely crazy. It’s not something I want to be around. We [Tamworth] have got black players, white players, Asian players, Muslim players and I would hate to think for one second that someone associated with our football club would be typing those types of things to our players.
“Let’s just hope some of these idiots who can sit behind a keyboard can own up and reveal themselves.
“If you’re that big and brave to go on social media and be racist, why do you have to hide? Why have you got a football player or a flag as your profile picture? Own your actions, it’s so easy.”
Smith also believes people who spread abuse of any kind are ‘very troubled people’ and feels whatever any players ethnicity or culture, fans should get behind every single person who pulls on their teams shirt.
“I’ve been through it myself and I just think it’s absolutely ridiculous. I don’t think any footballer is going to go out onto the pitch to intentionally make a mistake or have a bad game.
“I don’t see any player doing that, it doesn’t matter what level you play at. If the team loses and you’re a supporter, you’re supposed to get behind your team. Where does race come into it?
“They’re very troubled people. You hear the talk about educating people and rehabilitating people – some of these people are beyond any sort of help.
“I don’t know whether it’s instilled in them from when they’re young, but I can’t fathom what drives someone to do that.
“As a supporter, you support every single member of that team. It shouldn’t matter if you’re black, white, yellow, green. You could be a Martian. If that Martian is scoring 20 or 30 goals a season, you should support him.
“What good is it going to do abusing people because of the colour of their skin?”