Dundee United defender Jamie Robson apologises after ‘blacking up’

Dundee United full-back Jamie Robson. Picture: Getty
Dundee United full-back Jamie Robson. Picture: Getty
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Dundee United defender Jamie Robson has apologised for his “naive” actions and been disciplined by the Ladbrokes Championship club after ‘blacking up’ for a fancy dress party.

Pictures emerged on social media of the 20-year-old dressed as a stereotypical African beach-seller offering cheap jewellery and sunglasses.

Left-back Robson was holding two signs, one which said ‘buy 5 get 1 free’, the other read: ‘cheap as chips’. The picture shows Robson with a painted black face, wearing black leggings, an umbrella hat and hi-visibility jacket.

Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson confirmed earlier this week the club, who sit third in the Championship table, were investigating the matter.

Show Racism The Red Card Scotland, meanwhile, said they were confident the club would “deal with the matter appropriately” and offered assistance with “any education for players if they feel necessary.”

On the practices of “blackface” Show Racism the Red Card said it “would argue that these practices caricature and portray or glamorise differences which could lead to discrimination”.

In a statement on the Dundee United official club website issued on Wednesday afternoon, the club confirmed Robson had been “disciplined in relation to his actions at a players’ social event earlier this month”.

The statement continued: “As a club, we have high standards concerning the behaviour and actions of our staff, and on this occasion, Jamie has fallen short of these expected standards.”

Robson, who is set to undertake some diversity and inclusion training, apologised for “any offence I have caused”.

The player said in a statement released on his behalf by the club: “I fully accept the naivety of my actions and can see that my actions fall short of what is expected by a professional footballer.

“As soon as I became aware that I could offend, I took immediate action and removed both the make-up and costume.

“I want to apologise for any offence I have caused, and I have also apologised to the club for not adhering to the standards expected.”

Dundee United added the club “is also fully committed to promoting equality and valuing diversity,” adding “the player’s actions were potentially offensive and with, the club’s support, he will undertake some diversity and inclusion training”.

Robson has so far made 10 appearances for the Terrors this season, the last being as a late substitute in the 1-0 win at Ross County on November 10.

England forward Raheem Sterling was subjected to alleged racial abuse during Manchester City’s Premier League defeat at Chelsea on Saturday.

The player later issued a statement accusing the media of fuelling racism in the way it reports certain stories about black players.

The incident has again moved the debate over the task of tackling the issue in football back into the spotlight.