He’s a soccer player named Ali Mohamed. He’s a Christian from Niger but because his name sounds Muslim, that’s enough for some soccer fans to want to rename him.
Mohamed is a new member of Beitar Jerusalem, an Israeli club infamous for the racist behavior of some of its fans towards Muslims.
Mohamed was subjected to racist abuse from some fans during an open training session last month. Chants of “Mohamed is dead” and “Ali is dead” were hurled at him as he trained with his new teammates after joining from Maccabi Netanya in the offseason.
Clubs and governing bodies across the sport have traditionally struggled to deal with racism from fans. Moshe Hogeg, Beitar’s owner, says the answer is simple — he’s going to sue fans who he says are damaging the club’s reputation.