Police are investigating claims of a racially aggravated assault on a teenage boy who works for English Premier League club, Manchester United.
The boy, 19, identified as Kamari Nelson, is a staff of Arc Hospitality, a company the stadium pays to manage its cleaning services.
He told the BBC and The Guardian that he was on his way to work when the security guards for the team refused to let him in. According to him, they repeatedly accosted him with racial slurs before fracturing his eyes socket and bruising his ribs.
A human rights group, Kids of Colour, in a statement said that eight security guards grabbed Nelson by the neck, punched him in the stomach and threw him around, only stopping when police officers came around.
Reporting the case to the Greater Manchester Police, Nelson said he was called “a slave” and punched in Sir Matt Busby way before United’s Europa League fixture with Club Bruges.
He told the BBC that during the argument one member of the security staff told him: “I can buy and sell you – you’re a slave”.
“That really took me back and really angered me – how could someone just blatantly say that in 2020 in the society we live in today?
“They looked in my bag and all they saw was a bike lock and some cream and maybe a towel, and then they said to me, ‘I’m surprised I’ve not found a knife here’,” he said.
Nelson said a number of security guards then attacked him – hitting, punching and kicking him – with one putting his hand around his throat.
He said police arrived at the scene and he reported what had happened to him.
The Controlled Solutions Group, contracted to run security operations for Manchester United, denied the claims of Nelson stating in a statement that it believes it was a “totally false and fabricated account”.
Nelson told the Guardian that he was “shocked” at CSG’s denial and said that the incident should be investigated because “if this isn’t brought to the attention of the police then the same thing will just occur again”.
Nelson was treated at Trafford General Hospital the following day for bruises in the ribs, and swollen eye.
Prior to the incident, he was a ball boy for Manchester United and has also played for the club’s youth development team.