Bradford City: Racist fans should be jailed for abuse - footballer

Timi Odusina
Timi Odusina  

Football fans who post racist abuse online should be jailed, a professional player has said.

Timi Odusina, who plays for Bradford City, said he had been subjected to "degrading" abuse during his career.

He hoped harsher punishments, such as prison sentences to those convicted of racial abuse, would act as a deterrent to others.

"As bad as it sounds, you just get used to it and you just have to deal with it," he said.

The defender, who previously played for Hartlepool United, said he had been left feeling "belittled" after hearing abuse.

"You're sort of degraded for something you can't change and something that's got no basis for somebody to hate you or not like you because of the colour of your skin," he told BBC Radio Leeds.

"It's sort of crazy really to think we're in the 21st Century and these things are still occurring."

'Action is jail time'

The Croydon-born player was talking to the BBC during Black History Month, which runs throughout October.

He said abuse on social media was not dealt with properly and an online ban did not go far enough.

Recent abuse of England players highlighted how there were few punishments for supporters, Mr Odusina said.

"For example online, if someone is being racist on Twitter, I think you find the person who it is and you do a couple of months in jail.

"But you still have the problem where they are actually still racist, so in a sense nothing has really changed. They're just not able to show they're racist online. I think that action is jail time."

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