The man accused of making racist monkey gestures towards West Brom footballer Romelu Lukaku has insisted that he was actually doing a harmless chicken dance.
Liam Jones, 21, was arrested last week on suspicion of racially aggravated intentional harassment after photographs emerged of him in the crowd as Lukaka celebrated his goal against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
The Mirror report that Jones said: “People have got it all wrong. I wasn’t doing a monkey chant. I was doing a chicken dance.
Jones photographed in the crowd doing a "chicken dance"
"I’m devastated people think I’m racist. I have black friends and black cousins.
"If I was racist, I wouldn’t pay money to go and watch Sunderland because they have black players.”
Sunderland FC have banned him from matches until the outcome of the police investigation is known.
Jones said: "I’m absolutely gutted I can’t go to matches. I’ve been going for years. I can see where the club is coming from and I can see how the photo looks, but I want everyone to know that I am not racist," reports the Daily Mail.
Jones has been released on bail.