Cheikh Kouyate has responded to alleged comments by West Ham director of player recruitment Tony Henry in an Instagram post today. The Senegalese posted a picture of himself with the tagline: "African and proud" in response to reports by the Daily Star that Henry said that the club would not sign any more African players.
The post was liked by fellow team mates Manuel Lanzini, Adrian, Pedro Obiang and Arthur Masuaku.
West Ham United have suspended Henry over the incident releasing this press release with the decision:
The Club can confirm that Director of Player Recruitment Tony Henry has been suspended pending a full and thorough investigation. West Ham United will not tolerate any type of discrimination and has, therefore, acted swiftly due to the serious nature of these claims.
The West Ham United family is an inclusive one where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included.
The Club will make no further comment until the investigation has been concluded.
The Daily Mail contacted Henry about the claims who then appeared to double down on the comments saying "We had problems with Sakho, with Diafra Sakho. We find that when they are not in the team they cause mayhem. It’s nothing against the African race at all.”
The PFA also reacted strongly to Henry's comments:
We are shocked at the reported comments published in the media this morning. The PFA strongly condemn any such views and there is no place for them in football.
The swift action by West Ham United is encouraging and we trust they will deal with this in keeping with football's position on all matters of equality and anti-racism.
The comments, if accurate, are totally unacceptable in this day and age and especially for a club that has so many African players, Henry's alleged statements beggar belief.