Last Updated: 06/06/19 10:46am
Wilfried Zaha says he is working with a life coach to help him deal with abuse
Wilfried Zaha says he is subjected to racist abuse in “nearly every game” he plays in.
The Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast winger claims he is called a “monkey and a n*****” regularly during games when discussing the resurgence of discriminatory abuse in football.
Earlier this year, anti-discrimination group Kick It Out highlighted a Twitter user calling Zaha a “diving monkey” after he won a penalty in a Premier League game, as one of a number of discriminatory incidents to occur that weekend.
“Nearly every game I’m called a monkey or a n***** or a whatever,” Zaha told The Jackal magazine. “Imagine if I really got down about that?”
Zaha also says he has little desire to become an anti-racism campaigner, saying: “Yeah,â€‹ Wilf Zaha’s going to make a speech about racism. [I’m] so over it.
“I don’t know if we’re animals to them or whatever. Why is this okay? Why are you saying these things right next to your five-year-old kid?
Wilfried Zaha says that social media only makes racist abuse worse (Warning: Flash photography)
“And then, when you leave, what, you’re back to being a normal dad, working a normal job? People mask this stuff.”
The 26-year-old says he has turned to a life coach to help him cope with abuse alongside the rigours of professional football.
“Do you know how tiring it is, being angry?” he said. “It’s a waste of time. There’s so much more to be happy about.
“For a couple of weeks, I’ve been speaking to a kind of life coach. With football, you get to a point where you start to think, ‘Do I still love it, or am I doing it as a job?”