Why Goalie Jamie Young Finally Bit Back After Years Of Racial Slurs
For too long he'd bottled it up.
Jamie Young has heard it all. Over a career that took him to England when he was just 15, the now 33-year-old has experienced all sorts of foul abuse -- from everyone from fans to his own team's staff.
An official at his club in England once even called him a "Paki bastard". To his face. This was not accurate given the Brisbane Roar goalkeeper is of Sri Lankan and Scottish descent, and nor was it in any way excusable.
But in the face of even the most deplorable racism, Jamie Young never flinched.
"To be honest, I didn’t feel degraded at all because I’m very secure in my identity," Young wrote for athlete platform PlayersVoice recently, in a section titled "Learn To Laugh At Racist Fools".
"If it’s on the football field, I couldn’t care less. I’m there to focus on doing my job and if I’m listening to what other people have to say, then I’m not concentrating on my game."
But every man has his limits.
And on Saturday, when Young was racially slurred by a spectator on the hill in the A-League match against Western Sydney Wanderers in Mudgee, the A-League's goalkeeper of the year for season 2017/18 reached his.
The video at the top of this story shows the torrent of abuse which Young directs at a fan who called him a monkey. It's not easy to listen to, but we wanted to share the video with you in the context of Young's back story.
If you read his entire PlayersVoice piece, Young seems a calm, good-natured person. 10 daily contacted him this week and he came across exactly that way on the phone.
Young preferred to move on with his season rather than dwell on this incident. And while he offered no further comment, the PlayersVoice piece shows well enough how Young has bottled up his anger at racism for years.
For one reason or another -- maybe it was the proximity of the fan, maybe it was the vile nature of the slur -- this time he just couldn't resist telling his accuser where to get off.
"Don't f***ing call me a monkey, you f***ing racist c***," Young said.
To their credit, the Wanderers moved to distance themselves from this sort of fan behaviour. They issued a statement which in part read:
"This behaviour is deplorable and not acceptable at any Wanderers event, just like it should not be accepted anywhere in society.
The Western Sydney Wanderers would like to extend a sincere apology to Jamie Young for being subjected to such behaviour.
We applaud and are extremely proud of those Wanderers supporters in the immediate vicinity to this individual who promptly, and vociferously, objected to the behaviour demonstrated and alerted authorities to have the offender removed from the venue."
The Roar also issued a statement condemning it.
For the record, the Wanderers and Roar drew 2-2. A Roar spokesperson told 10 daily that it had been a "mentally fatiguing week" for Young.