December 11, 2023

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Arsenal Fan TV pundit dropped for racist comment

Son Heung-min celebrates his goal against ArsenalImage copyright
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Arsenal Fan TV has taken one of its pundits off the channel – after he made a racist comment about Tottenham striker Son Heung-min.

Claude Callegari called the Spurs player “DVD” towards the end of the Premier League defeat to their rivals on Sunday.

It’s a reference to selling illegal discs, and has been used as a slur aimed at Asian footballers including Son in the past.

AFTV has over a million subscribers.

The YouTube channel posts live streams of fans watching games, as well as videos of supporters reacting to results.

There’s no word on if Callegari will come back, with Lyle saying he was being taken off “indefinitely”.

Claude and channel host Robbie Lyle initially posted a video trying to explain it as a comment mocking Tottenham – but Lyle now says he “sincerely” apologises and it’s “only appropriate” Claude’s removed.

In a thread of Tweets he also said sorry for the explanation video, which he said, “was a mistake and I can only apologise that we did not take responsibility for the comment sooner.”

Lyle and Callegari had tried to argue the comment was about Tottenham making a DVD to remember the win.

But the shaving brand Harry’s – one of their sponsors – posted on social media to say it wouldn’t be working with them again.

A few hours later Lyle tweeted to say Claude was gone.

“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,” Lyle said.

“It is paramount that we do not allow comments of this nature to be made in any form.”

Lyle also said he’d spoken to anti-racism charity Kick It Out – and Callegari would do an education programme “to understand the severity” of what he’d done.

Radio 1 Newsbeat has asked Claude Callegari for comment.

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