Chinese community condemns Dave Whelan’s ‘chink’ comments

Union Jack flag hanging on entrance to Gerrard Street in Chinatown, London
Union Jack flag hanging on entrance to Gerrard Street in Chinatown, London

“Wigan Athletic Chairman Dave Whelan recently made comments regarding the use of the word “chink”.

We, the UK Chinese community, would like to refute the claim that there is nothing bad about calling a person of Chinese ethnicity a “chink” – this is at best nonsense, and at worst racist. Mr. Whelan tried to draw a parallel between using the term “chinks” in relation to Chinese people and using the term “Brits” to refer to British people. To draw such a parallel is ignorant and offensive as it fails to understand the nature of racism and belittles the experiences of those who have suffered racism.

Racism and discrimination is still a part of everyday life for many UK Chinese. Comments such as Mr. Whelan’s only serve to proliferate and normalise the continued use of discriminatory and racist language. We note that Mr. Whelan has since offered a half-hearted apology to the Chinese community for his remarks, and he hopes that we will accept this apology. Unfortunately, the damage of his comments has already been done.

We are pleased to hear that the Football Association is to launch an investigation into these remarks. If we are to truly stamp racism out of football, and society more generally, we cannot allow comments from people in senior positions to go unpunished. We would be extremely disappointed if a fitting punishment isn’t administered following the FA investigation.

Hereby signed:

Edmond Yeo, Chair, Chinese Information and Advice Center

Jackson Ng, Director, Conservative Friends of the Chinese

Sonny Leong, Chair, Chinese for Labour

Linda Chung, Chair, Chinese Liberal Democrats

Steve Lau, Chair, Chinese in Britain Forum

Merlene Emerson, Co-Founder, Chinese Welfare Trust

Michael Wilkes, Vice-Chair, British Chinese Project

Vincent Aun, Herald UK, Chair, Herald UK

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