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'We're Racist' Soccer Fans Chant After Pushing Black Man Out Of Paris Metro

British police are looking for a group of Chelsea fans who were responsible for an ugly spectacle in the Paris metro.

The Guardian posted video that shows a group of soccer fans who push an unidentified black man off a packed metro.

As if their action wasn't enough, they then start to chant: "We're racist, we're racist, and that's the way we like it."

The BBC reports that London's Metropolitan Police is taking the incident "very seriously." The BBC adds:

"In a statement it said it would assist French authorities to identify the people involved and support them in any action they chose to take.

" 'We will examine the footage with a view to seeing if we can apply for football banning orders, preventing people from travelling from future matches,' a spokesman said."

The Guardian reports that the soccer club responded swiftly, calling the behavior "abhorrent."

"We will support any criminal action against those involved, and should evidence point to involvement of Chelsea season-ticket holders or members the club will take the strongest possible action against them, including banning orders," the club went on.

Of course, all of this comes at a sensitive time for racial and religious relations in France. They come weeks after Muslim extremists walked into the offices of a satirical magazine and killed 12 people. That sparked a series of attacks on Mosques.

It was also this week, that anIsraeli journalist decided to walk around Paris with a kippah (skullcap) and tzitzit (tassels) around his waist. The video shows the man being spit on and being called a "Jew" and a "homo."

The video went viral the same week that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Jews living in European countries suffering from anti-Semitism to "come home."

The Washington Post spoke to Paul Nolan, the British video journalist who captured the video at the Paris metro. He told the paper he wasn't surprised by the scene, which he called "disgusting."

"It was a big problem in the '80s when there was a lot of hooliganism in the clubs," Nolan told The Washington Post. "It was a given that they created havoc, and then it died out over the last decade. ... But there is still a certain very racist right-wing element that exists in a lot of clubs. And Chelsea is one of those clubs that has all of those elements in it. So is this a surprise? Not really."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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