Thierry Henry has revealed the extent of the abuse he suffered while playing for Arsenal in the Premier League.
There have been a number of high-profile incidents involving racial abuse towards players in recent months, with football officials now urgently trying to step up their efforts to remove abuse from the game completely.
A number of past and current players have now begun speaking out about their own cases of abuse in order to raise awareness of the problem, and speaking as part of a special BBC documentary – via Football.London – former World Cup winner Henry opened up about the abuse he suffered whilst playing in the Premier League with Arsenal.
Not only did he speak on his own personal experience involving abuse, he also went onto demand a zero tolerance approach be made by footballing officials. He said: “I had my things also back in the days on the field.
“I remember playing away, taking the corners, and people were spitting on me. I would go and see the ref, and you can see, you could see all the [spit]. And he said: ‘Go on, get on with the game.’
“It’s always us talking. What about the people that are, that are up there? The big guns running things. What are you saying about it? Not those €2,000 fines and what-not. Come on. If you really want to do something about it, do something about it. Regardless of the colour or religion. I’m not only saying black players. For everybody.
“Come, be strong, and zero tolerance. That will be zero tolerance. But do they?”
The documentary titled ‘A Royal Team Talk: Tackling Mental Health’ will be aired on Sunday night on BBC, and will also include discussions with England manager Gareth Southgate and FA president Prince William.