During the feisty game between Swindon and Millwall on Saturday, there was a bit of a bust up between Swindon’s Kevin Amankwaah and Millwall’s veteran striker, Neil “Bomber” Harris. I cannot recall seeing Harris so infuriated in ten years of watching him play. Afterwards, all became clear. Harris fought a long and well-reported battle against testicular cancer several years ago. He told a local newspaper that Amankwaah had sneered at him because of this, making a reference to the fact he possessed only one testicle. Amankwaah, by way of response, lied – he denied saying any such thing. But something happened at Swindon; maybe Amankwaah’s colleagues rounded on him. Because a day later the defender apologized for saying a very nasty thing which had been said “in the heat of the moment, emotions running high”. It was a bit of a mealy-mouthed apology and did not placate even Swindon’s supporters, who bombarded their local newspaper with condemnatory blogs
. So, what did Amankwaah say next? Come on, you can guess. It used to be patriotism that was the last refuge of a scoundrel – not any more.
Yes - Amankwaah claimed that he had been racially abused and implied it had been by Harris. I dunno what Bomber said to him out there on the pitch – maybe, when the ball went out of play, he approached Amankwaah and whispered in his ear that he thought Mary Seacole was a useless nurse and wasn’t even black. Certainly Harris denies outright any form of racial abuse, and he has never been accused of such a thing in the past. But an allegation of racism changes everything – and remember, according to British law now, if someone makes an allegation of racism then it is de facto true, rather than the last recourse of some lying thug.