Amazon Criticized Over Racist Reviews of Soccer Star Eniola Aluko

11:31 PM September 17, 2019

Amazon Criticized Over Racist Reviews of Soccer Star’s Book: English soccer’s anti-discrimination organization and players’ union have criticized Amazon for not removing racist reviews of soccer star Eniola Aluko memoir that was posted on the online retailer’s website.

Of the 31 reviews on Amazon’s United Kingdom site, 27 gave “They Don’t Teach This” a one-star rating.

The book details the discrimination Aluko faced during her England career.

Amazon Criticized

The front cover of the autobiography written by English soccer player Eniola Aluko , London, England. Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Soccer star Eni Aluko is condemning Amazon for not removing racist reviews of her memoir posted on the online retailer’s web site. Of the 31 reviews on Amazon, 27 gave “They Don’t Teach This,” which details the discrimination Aluko faced during her England career, a one-star rating. Readers have used the platform to call the book “fiction,” “anti-white racist drivel” and accuse the Juventus forward of choosing to “play the race card” and “coming across as a racist herself.” (Rob Harris/AP)

Customers have used the platform to call the book “anti-white racist drivel” and “fiction” and accuse the Juventus forward of choosing to “play the race card” and “coming across as a racist herself.”

Aluko, who is black, and her publishers have been in contact with Amazon about the reviews, but they remain on the site.

Amazon told The Associated Press it does not suppress reviews based on star ratings but does use investigators and automated technology to prevent and detect inauthentic comments.

Aluko raised her concerns about the Amazon reviews in a column about online abuse for The Guardian, saying they were “clearly motivated by tribalism, bitterness, and hatred” and that “sometimes the law is the only solution.”

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Head over to @theydontteachthis insta page to follow all things #TheyDontTeachThis content & photography from the book launch. Photos from readers with the book can be submitted to the page if you send them to me tagging @theydontteachthis . THANK YOUs⬇️ . Huge thanks to @bonhamsafricanart (Giles Peppiat and Eliza Sawyer) for allowing me to use your fantastic gallery & execute my vision down to every detail along with your stunning African art. . @inclusiveindustry Mace, Sarah once again you have managed and planned a special event in my life and I am so thankful. You are both good luck gems. Until next time! ❤️💚 . @zacdes Zac, I admired your work from afar before but after working together my admiration has grown two fold. This launch wouldn't be what it was without you. Thanks for curating, organising & planning. And of course the #EmbraceTheHyphen photography we achieved is a work of serious art. . Thanks to drinks sponsor for the launch @fentimansltd and @ourlondon . Shaun Maher @hirethebarman. Thanks so much for understanding my vision to turn lessons into cocktails. The best cocktails I have seen! I won't forget your generosity & professionalism. . Incredible female contributors DJ @itsliana_ and Tanya Cracknell @thegrimeviolinist. Thank you❤️💚 . Cupcake sponsor @mirnacakes. Incredible designs, thank you! . Beautiful flowers & flower wall by @thewallflowerofhampsire . Thanks to my friends, family, mentors and other authors who attended on the night. The love, respect & amazing energy was felt by everyone. . Hostess with the mostess @miss_samjohnson. Genuinely, struggling to find words. Thanks for hosting/presenting a powerful Q&A that impacted so many in the room. Fate said you and I, as two brummie women would connect on a level like that. . @penguinbooks Kate Neilan, thank you for designing the artwork prints for the book which was a huge part of my vision for the event. . To @josieleblond Thanks for your gift of writing and commitment. . Last but not least to my agent and friend @misha_sher7 without him none of this would be possible. Eternally grateful! 💚❤️ #TheyDontTeachThis . My stunning make up by beautiful @yazglow_mua . 📸 @williambesse

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Penguin Random House, the publishers of the book, told the AP that “we’re working with our author, Eni, on this issue and are in contact with Amazon.”

The players’ union in England and anti-racism activists have denounced Amazon Criticized, whose CEO is Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, for not removing the posts.

“Amazon, just like social media platforms, have a responsibility to tackle any racist or discriminatory abuse on their website,” Kick It Out, English soccer’s anti-discrimination body, told the AP.

“We’re angered by the racial abuse directed at Eni Aluko just for telling her story and we fully support her as one of the leading voices in football shining a light on key issues that the game must address.”

The use of online reviews to abuse players has opened up a new front to be tackled by the Professional Footballers Association, which met recently with Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon after a spate of racist posts directed at its members.

“We have been proud of Eni for standing up against injustice in the past and we applaud her for her brave stance in this instance,” PFA head of equalities Simone Pound said. ”

As a prominent female player and role model, Eni is at the forefront of challenging abuse where and when it happens.

“We are increasingly seeing our members being abused and harassed as they are fulfilling workplace commitments both on and off the field. As a member Eni will continue to have the full support of the PFA.”

The book went on sale on Aug. 29 on Amazon.

“Some of what has been written about myself and my book is defamatory,” Aluko wrote in The Guardian. “It is intended to put people off buying my book, and I intend to make sure they understand the consequences of such hatred.”

Aluko capped 102 times for England and is a lawyer.

She spent two years trying to convince the English Football Association to believe Mark Sampson as national team manager made offensive comments in 2014 about whether her relatives coming from Nigeria for a game were infected with Ebola.

Pressure from Eniola Aluko led to a new FA investigation after allegations of wrongdoing had been initially dismissed.

The FA apologized to Aluko in 2017 after a review established she and a teammate had been racially discriminated against by Sampson but that the coach was not racist.

“Accusing someone of racism isn’t something I would ever do lightly,” Aluko wrote in her book. “It certainly hasn’t been a pleasant experience.

I’m willing to bet that no one ever cried racism for fun, or for power, and yet so many people of color don’t share their experiences because they would be shouted down, in the hideous phrase, for ‘using the race card.'”

The autobiography covers identity and race issues, footballing successes that have seen Aluko win league titles with Chelsea and Juventus, and her career as a lawyer.

“I love being a black woman, I wouldn’t change it,” Aluko wrote.

“It has always been a cause for celebration and empowerment, never a crutch or an excuse.”

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TAGS: amazon reviews, Eniola Aluko, Jeff Bezos, soccer player
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