Sacked Arsenal Fan TV pundit Claude Callegari apologises to Son Heung-min over calling him ‘DVD’
Sacked Arsenal Fan TV pundit Claude Callegari releases an emotional video to apologise to Son Heung-min over calling him ‘DVD’… but sticks by his bizarre claim that it WASN’T meant as a racial slur against the South Korean
Arsenal Fan TV pundit Claude Callegari has released a grovelling apology for referring to Tottenham’s Son Heung-min as ‘DVD’.
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.
Arsenal Fan TV pundit Claude Callegari has apologised for calling Son Hueng-min ‘DVD’
Claude (back left) made the ‘DVD’ comment as Son was substituted in the 94th minute
Son scored as Tottenham ran out 2-1 winners against rivals Arsenal in Sunday’s clash
Claude would like to say sorry to anyone that was offended by the comment that was made I 100% didn’t mean it in that way but I totally understand why people would get offended. So I sincerely apologise for this.@SpursOfficial @hm_sin7 pic.twitter.com/ZvItllAYR6
— Claude and the Bansta’s (@ClaudeBanstas) July 15, 2020
‘Good morning everyone, well not good for me,’ Callegari said in the video. ‘I want to make an apology. Unfortunately what happened here a few days ago with the game against Spurs.
‘The timing was all wrong when I made the comment and it has caused a lot of offence. I want to apologise to Spurs fans and Son for that, for the offence it has caused.
‘What can I do? It has caused a lot of offence and I want to apologise, I admire Son as a player. It wasn’t meant in that way but as it has caused a lot of offence, and it has, I’m going to apologise to you, the Spurs fans and especially Son and his family at how it has come out and there is not more that I can say than that.
‘Me and Robbie have come to an agreement that I’ve come off the channel, and I have to accept that. And I will punish myself as well, don’t worry about that.
‘I don’t want to say anymore. I don’t know what to say more than that, it wasn’t meant in that way. All I can do is apologise. I am sorry if it has caused any pain.’
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)
Lyle issued a series of tweets late on Tuesday night in which he apologised for the remark
Lyle confirmed that Claude would be removed from the AFTV network ‘indefinitely’
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.’
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.
Last year, a West Ham fan was fined after pleading guilty in court to a racially aggravated offence, which included a ‘DVD’ comment aimed at Son
‘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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