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England fan barraged with racist comments for praising Southgate – BBC News



England fan barraged with racist comments for praising Southgate – BBC News

Image source, Bobby Seagull

Image caption, Cambridge University doctorate student Bobby Seagull discussed football statistics on the Jeremy Vine show

  • Author, Harriet Heywood
  • Role, BBC News, Cambridgeshire

A maths teacher and TV broadcaster has received hundreds of racist comments, including threats of violence, after discussing Gareth Southgate’s record compared to recent England managers.

Bobby Seagull, former captain of the Emmanuel College Cambridge University team on University Challenge, said he felt “sadness, pity and anger” after a barrage of comments on his social media.

He had posted a clip from the Jeremy Vine show where he praised Southgate’s performance as manager. It received 1.6 million views.

He said: “When a person of British Indian heritage is talking about football it should be fine, but it obviously attracted a lot of people from the woodwork on social media.”

Mr Seagull was shocked by the barrage of abuse which he said he could expect to see on a politically angled post, but not on a clip about football statistics.

“A lot were making insinuations if someone who was not white could be English – which is me putting it nicely, others said they would find me, they knew where I lived and would punch me out if they saw me,” he said.

‘Full of hatred’

Mr Seagull said it was worrying that a lot of comments were made by people whose profiles were public, with photos of their families and employers signposted.

“They don’t even feel that being identified is being a threat to them which was shocking,” he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

“I suspect part of it is that the political discourse in the country has become so bad in recent years that people now feel really brazen in what they say.

“About 99.9% were men. I feel sorry for them that their lives are so full of hatred.”

He said he was grateful for the people who had been a positive support following the post.

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