West Ham’s director of transfers has found himself in a bit of bother after letting a little racism slip out unintentionally.
The Daily Mail claim to have intercepted an email sent by Tony Henry on 27th January, in which the Hammers’ head of recruitment (yes, they really do have one!) reportedly informs an agent that he doesn’t want to sign any more African players because they “cause mayhem”.
Discussing potential interest in an unnamed Cameroonian player, Henry is said to have written: “We don’t want any more Africans and he’s not good enough.”
The Mail then contacted Henry and asked if he had any policy regarding the recruitment of African players, to which he replied:
No, it’s nothing racist at all. It’s just sometimes they can have a bad attitude.
We find that when they are not in the team they cause mayhem. It’s nothing against the African race at all.
It’s just sometimes they cause a lot of problems when they are not playing, as we had with Diafra (Sakho). He’s left, so great. It’s nothing personal at all.
I just find with Russian players that they don’t settle in England. How many Italians come and settle in England?
As a club we are not discriminatory at all.
No, our Tony’s not discriminatory at all, just against all African players because of their bad attitudes.
West Ham currently employ six African players, with one of them, Cheikhou Kouyate, choosing the day after Henry’s comments came to light to post the following photo on Instagram, along with the rather pointed caption “African and proud”.
You may not be surprised to learn that the club have since suspended Henry while an internal investigation is carried out.
We can confirm that Director of Player Recruitment Tony Henry has been suspended pending a full and thorough investigation. West Ham United will not tolerate any type of discrimination and has, therefore, acted swiftly due to the serious nature of these claims.
The West Ham United family is an inclusive one where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included.
The club will make no further comment until the investigation has been concluded.
Too bloody right.