14 June 2020

Former England striker Eni Aluko ‘accepts’ Nikita Parris' apology over 2015 celebration amid discrimination allegations

Former England forward Eni Aluko has accepted ex-team-mate Nikita Parris’ apology for celebrating a goal with coach Mark Sampson in 2015.

Parris ran straight towards Sampson after scoring in 2017 in what was a pointed message following allegations which had been made by Aluko that the manager had used discriminatory language against her.

Parris apologised for her 'thoughtless' behaviour back in 2015 (SIPA USA/PA Images)

Earlier this week, in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement currently sweeping across the globe, Parris came out to say sorry to Aluko and described her actions as showing a ’lack of empathy, understanding and ignorance’.

Speaking in response to Parris on Twitter, Aluko said: "Although I’m yet to speak with Nikita, I acknowledge and accept this apology. Thanks.

"After a very difficult moment 3 years ago, I moved on and appreciate the self reflection for Nikita to move on too. Most importantly, black women should always strive for unity not division."

After two investigations failed to conclusively prove she had been racially abused by Sampson, a third inquiry found both Aluko and teammate Drew Spence had been the victims of racist remarks.

Sampson was cleared of bullying accusations, but the Football Association were forced to make a formal apology to Aluko.

Meanwhile, Sampson was sacked just 24 hours after Parris’ celebration with him due to an unrelated accusation towards him while Bristol Academy manager.

He ended up winning a settlement from the FA and is now a part of the set-upat fourth tier side Stevenage.

And Parris, who continues to play for England, has gone from strength to strength and is now an integral part of European champions Lyon.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox