The FA has revealed a string of offensive racial remarks by John Yems but still concluded the former Crawley manager is “not a conscious racist”.
Yems has been suspended from football for a period of 15 months after repeatedly breaking the Football Association’s policy on racist remarks.
The 63-year-old was charged by the Football Association after it was claimed that between 2019 and 2022, he made 16 statements to Crawley players that “contained a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief and/or gender.”
Yems admitted to one charge and was held responsible for 11 others relating to remarks made between 2019 and 2022 that made reference to ethnic origin, color, race, nationality, religion, creed, or gender.
As Yems was earlier this month barred from any football-related activities up to and including June 1, 2024, an independent regulatory commission deemed four others to be unfounded.
But the FA panel did reach the following conclusion on Yems:
- Described Muslim members of the squad as “terrorists”
- Deliberately mispronounced the second half of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s name to emphasise the N-word
- Used a racial stereotype to a black player of African origin by asking if he liked jerk chicken
- Told Muslim players “your people blow up stuff with vests”
- Said that an Iraqi youth international at the club “would probably blow up the stadium”
- Repeatedly made comments about another player “carrying a bomb in his bag”
- Called one player a “curry muncher” and asked if the player was unhappy that they did not server “curry pizza”
Made a remark to one player about “how dark his skin is'” on his return to Crawley after representing Grenada
The FA reportedly asked for a two-year suspension, according to a sanctions document, but the independent panel agreed with Yems’ attorneys that their client was not racist and had never intended to make such words.
According to the FA’s findings: “We consider this to be a very severe matter. We acknowledge that Mr. Yems is not intentionally racist.
“If so, a very long suspension—possibly even a permanent one—would be appropriate.
“However, the victims and others clearly perceived Mr. Yems’ “banter” as insulting, racist, and Islamophobic. Mr. Yems simply showed no consideration for the suffering that his inappropriate humor was creating.”
Yems, who assumed leadership of Crawley in December 2019, was placed on leave for 12 days before being fired in May.
The investigations were started when many League Two club players complained to the Professional Footballers’ Association.