Now we've become the villains says Jewish West Brom fan
Rachel Baron Singer at West Brom's grounds during a recent visit to the UK (Photo: Courtesy)
A Jewish West Bromwich Albion supporter has spoken of her "strange and precarious position" in trying to support the club she loves after Nicolas Anelka's quenelle goal celebration.
Rachel Baron Singer, 30, from Illinois in the United States, became a West Bromwich fan after looking for a "plucky mid-table" team to support.
But now she says the response by her club and fellow supporters has left her feeling deeply conflicted.
"On the one hand I want to show loyalty to my club, but on the other hand I can't possibly support Anelka or want him to score.
"I was also shocked when club chairman Jeremy Peace didn't deal with the situation straight away because he usually takes such a no-nonsense approach.
"Most of the other Jewish and non-Jewish fans that I speak to on the Internet just want to move on and ignore it, saying that it was'anti-system'. Maybe if the team had taken a different stance and led by example, the fans would also have a different perception."
Mrs Singer wants Anelka banned for eight matches, the same as Liverpool's Luis Suarez for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
"The club now needs to come out with a full official apology and remove him from team selection until the FA completes its investigation," she said.
"One of the reasons I started supporting West Brom in the first place was because of the team's strong history in support of black and ethnic minority players.
"We were always known as one of the plucky underdogs, now we've become the villains."