Tottenham Hotspur are investigating an incident in the Hertfordshire town of Hoddesdon on Monday in which a group of mostly white men, some of whom purported to be Spurs supporters, abused Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters.
The counter-protest gathered around the town’s war memorial in response to the statues which had been defaced across the UK in previous days and claimed to be there protecting the monument.
In a video widely shared online, one man can be heard shouting “go back to Africa” at BLM protesters. Police stationed themselves between the two groups as tensions escalated.
The counter-protesters also chanted “there’s only one Lee Rigby”, a reference to the Royal Fusilier who was murdered in Woolwich by two Islamist extremists in 2013. Rigby’s mother this week called for his name not to be used to sow division.
After being alerted to the incident on Twitter by musician Declan McKenna, Tottenham issued a strong response.
“These are no fans of ours,” Spurs tweeted. “This Club does not tolerate racist, discriminatory or hateful behaviour of any kind. We are looking into this and will take the necessary action against any so-called ‘fan’ involved.”
The event organisers later wrote on Instagram: “Thank you to everyone who came out and protested today. Though we had to directly face racists who tried to discredit our efforts, together we showed solidarity, letting Hoddesdon know that #blacklivesmatter.”