Arsenal Fan TV axe pundit Claude Callegari for calling Tottenham’s South Korean striker Son Heung-min ‘DVD’ – and then denying it was racist – as channel boss Robbie Lyle is forced to apologise
- Callegari said ‘DVD’s going off’ when Son Heung-min was substituted during Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Arsenal in Sunday’s north London derby
- ‘DVD’ is a racist term that has been directed at Asian footballers, including Son
- A West Ham fan was fined last year after directing similar abuse at South Korean
- Callegari appeared with Lyle in a video where he sought to explain the remark
- But Lyle apologised and said Callegari had been removed from the show
Arsenal Fan TV have removed pundit Claude Callegari from their shows after he made a racist comment about Tottenham player Son Heung-min during Sunday’s north London derby.
Callegari was heard to say ‘DVD’s going off’ when the South Korean was substituted in the 94th minute of Tottenham’s 2-1 win.
The reference to selling DVDs from a market stall is a racist term that has been directed at Asian footballers, including Son, in the past.
AFTV presenter Robbie Lyle (left) has apologised for a ‘derogatory remark’ relating to Tottenham player Son Heung-min made by regular contributor Claude Callegari (right)
The comment was made after South Korean Son was substituted off in the closing stages of Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Arsenal on Sunday
After the initial comment, Callegari later appeared with host Robbie Lyle in a video on AFTV, formerly known as Arsenal Fan TV, social media channels in which he tried to explain his choice of words.
He claimed that he’d said ‘another DVD will be coming out’ in reference to Tottenham’s victory despite clearly saying ‘DVD’s going off.’
In a series of tweets in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Lyle apologised and said Callegari had been ‘removed from the channel indefinitely.’
Claude (back left) made the ‘DVD’ comment as Son was substituted in the 94th minute
He then appeared with Lyle in another video in which he claimed he’d said ‘another DVD will be coming out’ in reference to Tottenham’s win over their rivals
He wrote: ‘I would like to sincerely apologise for the derogatory remark heard on the AFTV livestream on Sunday, and for the response video that we put out today where we failed to apologise and take onus for the comment.
‘As a channel that has millions of viewers around the world, I fully recognise the power that comments made by myself or people on our platform have, and it is paramount that we do not allow comments of this nature to be made in any form.
‘As such, it is only appropriate that Claude is removed from the channel indefinitely. In no way do I or AFTV condone racism of any kind and it is important we take appropriate action in line with the comment made.
‘I have spoken with representatives at @kickitout earlier today and must reiterate that this is not an issue I would ever try to sweep under the carpet or ignore.
it led to Lyle issuing a series of tweets late on Tuesday night in which he apologised
Lyle confirmed that Claude would be removed from the AFTV network ‘indefinitely’
‘The response video was a mistake and I can only apologise that we did not take responsibility for the comment sooner.
‘In this time we will ensure that Claude undertakes an education programme to understand the full severity of the remark made on Sunday and that comments of a similar nature are under no circumstance made again in the future.’
AFTV is one of the most popular fan-produced YouTube channels in the world with 1.18million subscribers.
Last year, a West Ham fan was fined £184 and ordered to pay £110 costs by Thames Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to a racially aggravated offence for aiming racial abuse, including a ‘DVD’ comment, at Son during a Carabao Cup fixture.
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