Spalding United footballer targeted by fan in racial abuse storm

Spalding United defender Kern Miller who was the alleged target of racial abuse at Bedworth United.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG070418-134TW.
Spalding United defender Kern Miller who was the alleged target of racial abuse at Bedworth United. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG070418-134TW.
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An allegation that Spalding United footballer Kern Miller was racially abused during a game against Bedworth United on Saturday has been made.

Miller, a mixed race central defender with the Tulips, was targeted by a supporter who was later ejected from the North Warwickshire club’s ground.

Tulips manager Chris Rawlinson said: “I didn’t hear exactly what was said to Kern but I know the comment was deemed to be racist.

“It was directed at him and it didn’t go down very well.

“Kern wasn’t happy at all so he went over to confront the supporter, although he didn’t get within touching distance.”

Ray Tucker, the club’s press officer who was reporting on the game, said: ”I was on the opposite side of the ground but, apparently, there was some banter from some of the home supporters in the clubhouse.

I didn’t hear exactly what was said to Kern Miller but I know the comment was deemed to be racist, it was directed at him and it didn’t go down very well

Chris Rawlinson

“I don’t know what was said, but it upset Kern Miller and Bedworth striker Iyseden Christie who both reacted to the comments and the referee asked the home officials to sort it out.

“The referee said he wouldn’t restart the game until it was sorted out.”

The only mention of the incident in the match report on Bedworth United’s official club website said: “The game was then held up while a spectator was ejected from the ground.”

An extra 15 minutes were added on at the end of the game which Spalding United won 3-2.

Rawlinson added: “The referee wanted to calm the situation and he wouldn’t restart the game until the supporter had been ejected from the ground.

“It took a little while because the supporter was adamant he hadn’t said anything racist.

“The spectator has paid to get in and Bedworth can’t stop him saying anything.

“But as a club, they dealt with it professionally.

“This is not the first time it has happened to Kern during his career but he felt happy with the way Bedworth acted as a club.

“People have got to understand what they are saying because this incident was idiotic and there is no place for comments like that in any walk of life.”