Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy fears his name will now forever be tainted as a racist due a heated row against an Asian man in a casino last year.
The England star admits he called an Asian man a ‘Jap’ in a moment of fury as he believed he had revealed Vardy’s cards to another player during a poker hand with thousands in the pot but denies being a racist.
Vardy, who admitted that he has had a few scraps in the past and even spent the night in a cell, said he felt ‘cheated’ during his poker game and insists that he was ignorant that the term was considered demeaning.
In his new autobiography ‘Jamie Vardy: From Nowhere, My Story’, the 29-year-old has further lifted the lid on his fears that the regrettable moment last July will never be forgotten.
In an extract published by The Sun, Vardy said, “Most convictions get wiped after a period of time. But there’s no way of erasing what happened in July 2015.
“The word ‘racist’ is a permanent stain against my name. It’s worse than a criminal record.
“Some people will never forgive me. Others will accept I made a terrible mistake and recognise I have learnt from it.
“It’s on YouTube when my kids type in their dad’s name and it comes up ‘Jamie Vardy racist’. On Google, too. It’s horrible.”
The incident took place last year in Leicester’s Grosvenor Casino and started when he claims an Asian man standing behind him walked over to another player in the poker hand and whispered something.
The other player then went all in and Vardy was convinced that the Asian man had revealed his hand so he threw his cards on the table, losing out on the pot worth thousands of pounds.
Vardy said, “I asked the dealer to get the manager, and the Asian lad walked away. I stood up and, with frustration building inside of me, said, ‘Yo, Jap. Walk on’.
“I said it three times. I was p****d off with him. He came back and apologised for any offence. He said he always did it and nobody ever said anything before, and then he walked off.”
The incident was photographed by someone on their phone and posted the image on Twitter with comments, tagging a newspaper and TV station.
A friend immediately alerted the Leicester player to the post so he called out the user’s name and a middle-aged man came in from the smoking area and they began arguing.
Vardy also admitted that he feared his career was all but over after the incident went viral.
The Leicester player attended diversity-awareness courses and later apologised to the men involved. He was also fined by the club for the incident.
This came at a time when other Leicester City players sparked off another scandal when a video of an orgy emerged, in which one of the women was called a ‘slit-eye’.
James Pearson, the manager’s son, Tom Hopper, and Adam Smith were all fired after the incident during the club’s goodwill tour of Thailand, which is also incidentally where the club owners are from.