Adelaide United’s Kusini Yengi has expressed support for his club’s push to have racial abusers banned from all elite sporting events, after the young star was vilified following his performance against Melbourne Victory.
- Kusini Yengi put in a match-winning performance against Melbourne Victory
- After the game, he was racially abused in comments on his Instagram account
- He has vowed to continue celebrating goals with gusto
Yengi provided the spark off the bench as the Reds came from behind to win 3-1 on Saturday, scoring one goal and setting up another to seal the win.
It was the first goal of Yengi’s A-League career, with the 22-year-old “running on adrenaline” when celebrating in front of the Victory fans.
Following the match, he was racially abused in comments on his Instagram account, including a post showing gorilla emojis.
Yengi today spoke out about the incident for the first time, saying he “probably wasn’t surprised after the celebration and the way the fans reacted”.
“I kind of thought that this is where it might end up heading. But obviously it’s quite disappointing,” he said.
“After the game there was a lot of good messages, everyone congratulating me and stuff.
The A-League and the police are investigating the incident in a bid to find the culprits responsible.
The Reds yesterday floated the idea of a cross-code ban for people found to racially vilify players.
Adelaide United director of football Bruce Djite said he would be speaking with the Adelaide Crows this week about teaming up in a response against racism.
“We’re going to meet with him on Thursday and discuss that further on what sort of initiatives we can take as professional clubs in South Australia and hopefully that starts to gain momentum,” Djite said.
He suggested a zero-tolerance response to racism from all clubs in the state, and banning those caught from attending any professional sport.
“That would be my approach,” he said.
“If you’re an Adelaide United member and you’re racially vilifying someone, you shouldn’t be allowed to attend any sporting [codes].
“I think that would send a strong message.”
Yengi backed the move, describing it as a “positive idea [that] could help”.
AFL club backs call for broader bans
Adelaide Crows assistant coach Nathan Van Berlo today also threw his support behind the idea, and reiterated his club’s stance on racial abuse.
“[I’d] certainly be supportive of anything that comes in to make sure that we stamp it out because it’s still prevalent in all games, which is disappointing,” Van Berlo said.
Yengi said those responsible for racial abuse should get educated about the harm they cause.
“We’re all humans and we’re all trying to do our best at whatever we do, and giving people negative energy and making comments like that doesn’t help anyone,” he said.
While he wants to move on quickly, Yengi said Reds fans could rest assured that he will continue to celebrate with gusto again whenever he scores.
“No matter what anybody says to me, I’m going to be me and show my character,” he said.
“Everything that’s happened, it’s not going to stop me doing it in the future.”