Wilfried Zaha: I’m called a monkey or a n***** nearly every game

Winger admits he's turned to life coach to help cope with abuse prevalent in football

Samuel Lovett
Thursday 06 June 2019 13:01
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Trevor Sinclair talks racism as Show Racism the Red Card event

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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