The FA are to investigate a Chelsea player’s use of ‘racial slur’ in TikTok video with an apology made on behalf of the new Blues man.
A viral video was uploaded of Mykhailo Mudryk back in July 2022. It was viewed more than 214,000 times before it got deleted. The clip featured a Ukrainian international saying a racial slur as he recited the lyrics of the 2017 song ‘Freestyle’ by Lil Baby.
Although Mudryk has since apologised through his representatives, The Athletic revealed that the FA are now looking into the video published.
🚨 The Football Association has opened an investigation into a video which showed Mykhailo Mudryk using the N-word in a TikTok video.
Mudryk was reciting a 2017 freestyle rap by American artist Lil Baby which contained the N-word.#CFC
— Mykhailo Mudryk 🧢MM15🇺🇦 (@MMudryk15_CFC) January 31, 2023
This investigation confirms the FA’s firm stance against abusive posts, no matter when they were posted.
Middlesbrough’s Marc Bola was forced to take an education course last year after he posted homophobic comments as a 14-year old.
Jarrod Bowen, West Ham’s player in West Ham, was also punished for using a racial slur when he posted a 15-year-old tweet.
The FA continues to investigate and there is no information about his possible punishment. However, Graham Potter will allow the 22-year old to play for Graham Potter’s team against Fulham on Friday.
Acts of discrimination can be classed as aggravated breaches of FA Rule E3.1 governing misconduct, and where a charge is issued and proven for such a breach, the starting sanction is six matches.
Mudryk’s representative said in a statement: “Mykhailo is deeply sorry for any offence caused.
“While his intention was solely to recite lyrics of a song, Mykhailo regrets his decision and wholeheartedly accepts it was not appropriate.”
Anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out condemned the language.
Kick It Out said in a statement: “Kick it Out condemns the use of all racial slurs, irrespective of context. The use of this term by high-profile figures in football can only serve to alienate people from the game.”
— The Sun (@TheSun) January 30, 2023
Editor F365 wrote a piece on the way Mudryk has been criticised by the media, including a front page headline on The Sun.
They wrote in their blog: “Welcome to the English media, Mykhaylo Mudryk. Remember that TikTok video you made in a foreign language last year…
“There are only two occasions when footballers appear on the front page of The Sun.
“And as Mykhaylo Mudryk is not an England footballer wrapped in a St. George’s flag ahead of a major tournament game, we know straight away that he has been A Bad Boy.
“Now you could argue that there are rather more important things going on in England right now – the UK being the only major economy predicted to shrink in 2023 after the Sun-backed Conservatives utterly f***ed us, being one – but according to The Sun, the biggest news right now is that a footballer said the N word last year.
“We have a few problems with this. The first is that Mudryk is not a ‘£88m Chelsea star’, he is a £62m Chelsea signing. The second is that it’s not relevant in the slightest how much he cost because the whole story is basically this: A 21-year-old born and raised in Ukraine for whom English is not his first language once made a TikTok video in which he rapped and repeated a lyric that should not be rapped and repeated by white people.
“And that’s all.
“It’s not a great look but this is an Eastern European boy who likes rap music. It’s not like he’s the captain of Chelsea saying the words “f***ing black c***” on a football pitch to a fellow professional.
“And it’s also rather important that Mudryk has apologised and removed the video. Oddly, this is not mentioned on the front page of The Sun.
“The newspaper is claiming an ‘EXCLUSIVE’ on the ‘FURY ABOUT ACE’ before saying Mudryk has been ‘slammed’ and ‘blasted’ by campaigners.
“Not a ‘slam’. Not a ‘blast’. Just a measured statement that acknowledges that Mudryk has apologised. Which is more than The Sun manage on a ludicrous front page designed purely to distract.
“And no, it’s not a ‘racist video’; it’s a video in which a young man raps a lyric which contains a racial slur. There is a massive difference.”
Supporters should know how to report hate crime incidents, whether it’s online or at the match, so here is a useful guide to explain how you and others can.
If you have experienced or witnessed discrimination at a football match at any level, or on social media, you can report it to Kick It Out through their online reporting form or via their reporting app available on both iOS and Android. You can also report hate crimes to your local police force here.
By reporting online abuse, you can help stop the behaviour and protect other people from seeing the abusive content. Online abuse does not have to be experienced directly by someone in order for that person to report. Everyone has a responsibility to report online hate they see.