Punish football hooligans who direct racist abuse at players, says Gene Simmons

PA

Gene Simmons has said football hooligans who direct racist abuse at players need to be “punished”.

Recent weeks have seen players, including Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford and Chelsea defender Reece James, face abuse on social media.

The Kiss singer and bassist, 71, originally from New York City, urged people to be kinder to one another online but also said hooligans needed more than just a slap on the wrist.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, he said: “I am hoping that in a lot of ways we learn lessons about life, that every day above ground is a good day.

“My mother used to say that to me in Hungarian. And maybe we can learn to be kinder to each other.

“It is not really the kind of interview I give where I talk about myself ad infinitum, ad nauseam, but maybe this is a bigger idea about – let’s try and be kinder to each other.”

His comments came after co-hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid vowed to launch a campaign calling for tough fines for people who post racist abuse.

He said to Morgan: “I was following that just horrible racist story about the footballer and I think your idea is just spot on.

“The only thing these hooligans understand is money and to be punished.

“And to just get their wrist slapped, ‘That’s not a nice thing to do’, they don’t care about that.”

Classic Rock Roll Of Honour – London
Classic Rock Roll Of Honour – London

The veteran rocker also described the situation with coronavirus in the US as “horrific” and rebuked his fellow citizens who refused to wear a mask and abide by social distancing.

He said: “It’s horrific in America because Americans don’t want to be told what to do. ‘You can’t tell me what to do, I have a right to do this’.

“There are anti-vaxxers, as you know our good friend Mr Trump contributed to that a great deal, people who don’t believe that Covid is real.

“They refuse to take the vaccines. There are millions of them who refuse to take it. Additionally they don’t believe that staying away from each other is anything but a hoax.

“So you have got parties and football games and all kind of stuff with people getting together.”

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