Three black players at Glasgow Rocks suffered horrific racial abuse in the city, it has emerged.

French stars Marc Kwedi and David Mpondo, plus Dutchman Julius van Sawyers (pictured), had their car smashed outside their shared flat in Barmulloch while a witch hunt also involved hoax calls to the police claiming the trio had prostitutes inside.

Police Scotland were unable to find those responsible but the British Basketball League outfit confirmed they have moved the trio to a new address for their own safety.

“We saw they’d smashed the glass and that’s when we called the police,” said Mpondo, 21. “Another time, we woke up, we came back from morning practice and there were two flat tyres.”

25-year-old van Sauers, whose father is a well-known TV comic in the Netherlands, added: “It was a little bit uncomfortable when we knew the tyres were slashed and they knew when we were leaving.

“We had no idea when this happened. We figured this out afterwards and put the pieces together. Because we’ve been welcomed here well and loved being here. We just thought this must be a coincidence.”

The Rocks, based at the Emirates Arena, have long sent foreign-born players into schools to talk about cultural issues via their community programme. While their legends include Kieron Achara, a mixed-race Scot who has captained the Great Britain side.

The harassment was “disgusting”, said the club’s general manager Sean Skelly.

“They were threatened, referred to as ‘Monkeys’, made to feel watched and unwelcome and were harassed by calls to the police claiming that they had prostitutes in their property. The incidents eventually spiralled into their car being attacked and their tyres being slashed along with the windscreen being smashed by a hammer.

“As it is was a police incident the club have held off speaking about this. Unfortunately, we do not have any hard evidence of who attacked the car therefore there is little that can be done in terms of prosecution. However, we feel like the least we can do is draw attention to the incidents that have occurred.

“Racism is not something that is a distant problem. It is in Glasgow, it is in Scotland and it is and can be everywhere.”

Sign up for the new MVP Mail – your regular email newsletter with exclusive news and features.

Photo: Rocks

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login