The Football Association is investigating after Wycombe striker Adebayo Akinfenwa accused a Fleetwood Town representative of repeatedly calling him a “fat water buffalo” during Monday night's League One play-off semi-final.
Akinfenwa says he was told about the alleged remarks after the game, leaving him feeling “dehumanised”.
“Regardless of whether or not there was a deliberate racial intent by using that language, and irrespective of the context in which it was used, if we are to make real and long-standing change then we must strive to educate each other about these issues,” Akinfenwa wrote in a lengthy post on social media on Wednesday night.
“We must work together to ensure those who have not and do not face racial prejudice understand that what may appear to them to be a throwaway remark can have such a big and hurtful impact.
"I believe it dehumanises me as a black man by associating me to a Water Buffalo, a dark animal, in a derogatory manner.”
Akinfenwa, 38, has been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement which has come to prominence in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in May.
“I feel passionately around raising this because we as a sport and as society must wake up,” Akinfenwa added. “We must do more. We must educate ourselves and understand the potential repercussions of using such language and be aware of the hurt it can cause.
“The bigger issue to me would be the lack of understanding as to why calling me this term would not be hurtful to me as black man, and this must change.
“Taking a knee, supporting social media campaigns and wearing a logo on our kits is a start, but it is not enough. It will not result in real and long-standing change. The real work must start now and the only way to move forward collectively is through education.”
Fleetwood, who were beaten 6-3 on aggregate after the game at Adams Park finished in a 2-2 draw, have yet to comment.
The alleged comments are understood to have been heard by several Wycombe players, as well as staff, during the second half. Wycombe issued a brief statement on Twitter to say they, “fully stand by (their) players and supports all campaigns to end discrimination”.
An FA spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of the allegations and will be investigating the matter.”