KILMARNOCK, Scotland (AP) — Alex Dyer, the manager of the Kilmarnock soccer team in Scotland’s top league, was the target of a racially abusive letter delivered to the club on Monday.
Kilmarnock said it “utterly condemns” the letter containing abuse directed at Dyer, who became the league’s only Black manager when he was appointed this summer.
“We are working with Police Scotland to identify any individuals involved in this disgusting act and we will pursue the strongest possible action we can against them,” the club said in a statement. “Racism in any form is completely unacceptable and must be called out whenever and wherever it is found.”
Kilmarnock players and coaches have taken a knee before each game this season “and we will continue to do so,” the club said.
Humza Yousaf, the Scottish government’s Cabinet Secretary for Justice, called the letter “disgraceful” and pledged “full solidarity” with Dyer and Kilmarnock.
“We are about to enter 2021 and we have Black football managers receiving letters with racist abuse,” he wrote on Twitter. “We have a long way to go to rid ourselves of this evil.”
Eighth in the 12-team Premiership, Kilmarnock has lost five consecutive games and is scheduled to play at Motherwell on Wednesday.
The 55-year-old Englishman signed a two-year contract this summer after serving as interim manager for much of last season.
Last month, Dyer was named to the “ Football Black List,” which recognizes positive influences on the sport from the Black community.
Black athletes including Crystal Palace player Wilfried Zaha say they are regularly subjected to online racial abuse. Ryan Sessegnon, on loan at German club Hoffenheim from Tottenham, revealed last month that he’s been targeted, as well.
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