Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has revealed he has forgiven a football fan who racially abused him as a player in the 1990s, after receiving a letter of apology that made him “well up”.
Wright has been outspoken on the issue of racism inside and outside of football, and earlier this year shared examples of the “terrifying” racist abuse he still receives on social media.
He discussed this incident in particular and the subsequent note from the unnamed Barnsley supporter on his podcast Wrighty’s House after it was passed to him by a colleague.
“In 95′ I got majorly racially abused at Barnsley and it was horrible,” Wright said on the podcast, which is produced by The Ringer.
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“People who have been racially abused, you know the humiliation and all the stuff that comes with it.”
He then relayed the note, which read: “Good evening. I’m just a random citizen but I’d like you to please pass this on to Ian Wright for me.
“I support Barnsley FC and I am one of the people who racially abused him during a football match in 1995. I was young and stupid but those are no defences.
“Poor guy said it was understandably one of the worst nights of his life and I would like him to know that I am completely ashamed of my contribution towards it and I find myself thinking about it a lot. I apologise for what I did.”
The ex-England forward said the confession had “made me well up” and told listeners he had replied saying: “Listen my friend, there is redemption for everyone.
“What you have done is one of the ways we tackle racism. Not through revenge or violence but with honesty and maturity.
“I am grateful to you for the time you took sending this email to me and I hold no grudges towards you. We all have a duty to make the world a fairer and better place.”
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