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    Rise in 'F*** Off You Immigrant' Rhetoric Following Brexit Vote

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    Following a racial attack in Scotland for wearing a traditional Russian hat, Welsh wrestler Zane Grey remains concerned about the level of anti-immigrant rhetoric rearing its ugly head.

    "I'm still pretty upset to be honest. It's upsetting that people are still walking around behaving like that," Grey told Sputnik.

    Judo champion and wrestler Zane Grey was on his way home from the Russian consul in Paisley, where he and a friend had been invited to talk about their recent trip to Russia and where they were given a traditional Russian Cossack hat as a present.

    Zane Grey, last one on the right, visiting the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Edinburgh.
    © Photo : Zane Grey
    Zane Grey, last one on the right, visiting the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Edinburgh.

    "On our way home we stopped to watch the football, and then as we left, I heard someone say, 'f*** o** you immigrant' and then I was punched. He thought I was Russian, then he heard my English accent and he carried on abusing me for being in Scotland. That language is not part of the local lexicon. However since the referendum, people are using it like it's everyday language. You hear it more often," Grey told Sputnik. 

    ​Since the referendum, Grey said many of his friends have been verbally attacked on a daily basis.

    "I have a friend who is black and she has been hassled almost every day since the referendum."

    Grey, who is 39, also promotes traditional Scottish wrestling was also wearing a kilt when he was attacked in Paisley. Grey blames it on the referendum and the vote to Leave the EU.

    "The referendum has allowed people to feel that it is okay to air their racist views in public. Before, they would have to keep their mouths shut — but the Brexit vote has legitimized their views and now people feel they are brave enough to act upon their thoughts," Grey told Sputnik. 

    The verbal and physical attack on Grey isn't an isolated incident, Grey has since suffered more abuse.

    "I was with a Polish friend of mine and again we were called immigrants and told to 'f*** off' It's a horrible situation. The referendum seems to have brought out a real nasty streak in people. So many people are being made to feel tremendously uncomfortable. It's like being back in the 80s," Grey told Sputnik.

    Figures from the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) reveal that hate-crime has increased by 42 percent since the referendum, with 3,076 crimes taking place in England and Wales in the last two weeks of June — the time leading up to and during the EU referendum.

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    Brexit (255)

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    Tags:
    Vote Remain, Vote Leave, racist attack, Brexit, hate crimes, society, abuse, violence, football, Britain's EU referendum, Wales, United Kingdom, Scotland
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