A 10-year-old Leeds United fan drew sharp criticism on Twitter after he posted pictures of himself meeting his favourite black footballers wearing make-up to blacken his face and cutting his hair and dying it to look like El Hadji Diouf.
Moments after posting the pictures yesterday a Twitter storm erupted as people slammed the 10-year-old fan for being racist, despite the fact that he is pictured with several black players, including El Hadji Diouf, who appeared to be happy to pose with him.
The young fan took pictures with several Leeds players outside the Elland Road football ground on New Year’s Day and managed to get another snap with Diouf later in the tunnel.
Shortly after tweeting the picture of himself with Diouf in the tunnel the boy tweeted:
Theres only 2 El-Hadji Dioufs…this is how I’ve come dressed today
It wasn’t long before more and more people started to retweet the picture with many labelling the boy a a racist. The Twitter furore grew so intense against the schoolboy that his dad also took to Twitter to defend his son, saying
I want to apologise if [son’s name] dressing up has caused offence.
The Daily Mail quotes him as continuing
He asked to dress up as Diouf so we let him for a bit of fun. We completely underestimated the response it would get. Hes only 10 and likes the banter so lay off please thanks for positive comments
The boy then defended himself on his Twitter account saying it was ‘a bit of fun’ and
Some pl on here think im racist for going todays game fancy dress lokediouf he loves it all the players do loads of fand been taking pics. [sic]
Im a big leeds fan and love diouf.
He eventually signed off Twitter, saying he wanted to settle down and watch the game.
What do you think? Was this racism or just misguided fun and the harmless innocence of childhood?