Wilfried Zaha says he’s subject to racist abuse in “nearly every game” he plays.
The Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast winger claims he is regularly called a “monkey or a n*****” and admitted he’s turned to a life coach to help him cope with the abuse prevalent in the modern game.
Earlier this year, anti-racism group Kick It Out highlighted a series of racist social media posts, one of which labelled Zaha a “diving monkey” after he won a penalty in Palace’s 1-0 win against Newcastle United.
“Nearly every game I’m called a monkey or a n***** or a whatever,” Zaha told The Jackal magazine. “Imagine if I really got down about that?”
Zaha also says he has little desire to become an anti-racism campaigner, saying: “Yeah, Wilf Zaha’s going to make a speech about racism. [I’m] so over it.
“I don’t know if we’re animals to them or whatever. Why is this okay? Why are you saying these things right next to your five-year-old kid?
“And then, when you leave, what, you’re back to being a normal dad, working a normal job? People mask this stuff.”
To help cope with the abuse, as well as the rigours of the game, the 26-year-old said has been working with a life coach.
“Do you know how tiring it is, being angry?” he said. “It’s a waste of time. There’s so much more to be happy about.
“For a couple of weeks, I’ve been speaking to a kind of life coach. With football, you get to a point where you start to think, ‘Do I still love it, or am I doing it as a job?”
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