Sunderland fan charged after ‘racist’ gesture
A FOOTBALL supporter accused of making a monkey gesture at a Premier League footballer has been charged with a racially aggravated offence.
Liam Jones, 21, of Hendon, Sunderland, was arrested after pictures showed him apparently making the gesture at Romelu Lukaku after the Belgian striker had scored West Bromwich Albion’s third goal in a 4-2 away win at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on Saturday, November 24.
Mr Jones later told reporters he was devastated people thought he was racist, as he was in fact doing a chicken dance.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said extensive enquiries had been carried out and a 21-year-old man had been charged with a racially aggravated offence.
Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, the force’s Sunderland area commander, said: “We will not tolerate racist behaviour of any kind and we will fully investigate any reports we receive.”
Mr Jones is due to appear at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on Monday, April 22.
Sunderland AFC has banned him from matches until the outcome of the case.