Robin van Persie, captain of the Dutch national football team, told reporters on Sunday he would approve if people were prosecuted for placing racist reactions on social media about a photograph of black Dutch footballers.
‘This makes me very unhappy,’ Van Persie said after a selfie taken by midfielder Leroy Fer on Saturday was circulated on social media and gathered a number of racist comments. In some, the players were likened to Sinterklaas’s controversial helper Zwarte Piet, in others monkeys.
‘It is shocking that this sort of thing happens in 2014,’ Van Persie said. ‘This has to be tackled properly. It is time to set an example.’
Football website Voetbalzone removed the photo after it gathered a number of racist reactions and distanced itself from the comments. ‘We are sorry that there are still people around who treat each other with such a lack of respect,’ the website said.
Labour MPs have called on the public prosecution department to investigate the comments if no formal complaint is made by the players themselves.
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