Twittersphere was provoked by John Barnes’s tweet about his views on being called black is not racist according to what happens during Paris Saint Germain’s game against Instanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday.
Sebastian Coltescu’s alleged abuse of Basaksehir coach Pierre Webo led to both teams walking off the pitch during the fixture at Parc des Princes.
The game was abandoned and eventually completed the following night with a new refereeing team.
The apparent racial slur against Webo occurred when he was shown a red card for protesting a decision, with the Romanian term “negru”, or “the black one”, used to identify him to the referee.
However, Barnes, himself a victim of vile racist abuse during his playing days, responded to the outcry by taking to Twitter to write: “It’s NOT racist to describe the offender as the black one!
“We’re telling people to call us black. He doesn’t know his name, there are six/seven coaches standing together, all Turkish. One is to be sent off; the ref says, which one, THE BLACK ONE? What else can he say to let the ref know? Why can’t you describe a black man as being a black man?”
Its NOT racist to describe the offender as the black one! We are telling people to call us black.. he doesnt know his name there are 6/7 coaches standing together all turkish .. 1 is to be sent off , the ref says which one THE BLACK ONE what else can he say to let the ref know? https://t.co/pTknWewD66
— John Barnes (@officialbarnesy) December 9, 2020
One fan told Barnes the fourth official should have asked for a name rather than using skin color as a descriptor, but the Liverpool legend disagreed.
Barnes said: “The ref doesn’t know who to ask. The fourth official has to tell the ref which one to approach so he tells him to approach “the black one”. The fourth official’s job is JUST to identify him, not ask his name.”
Coltescu – who had his Instagram hacked and profile image changed to a picture of Webo with #notoracism added to his bio – has since apologized.
He said: “Sorry for the misunderstanding. My intention was never racism.
“In such an environment, people sometimes cannot express their feelings correctly and can be misunderstood. I apologize on behalf of the UEFA Champions League. I hope you understand.”