Former Republic of Ireland international Clinton Morrison says he fears the progress made in tackling racism in English football is slipping after two incidents of abuse in the space of a week.
On Sunday before last, a Tottenham supporter was arrested for throwing a banana skin onto the pitch after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had put Arsenal ahead.
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was then subject to alleged racist taunts during Saturday evening's Premier League game at Stamford Bridge, which has led to four fans being suspended by Chelsea.
Sterling appeared to laughed off the abuse at the time but in his response to the incident accused the media of helping to "fuel racism" with the way in which they portray young black footballers.
"It's a disgrace," Morrison, who scored over 100 goals for Crystal Palace, told RTÉ 2fm's Game On.
"It's happening too often in English football at the moment.
"Aubameyang... the guy said he didn't realise when he threw the banana what the implications were going to be. If you throw a banana at a black person, you know what's going to happen.
"That is 60s and 70s (stuff), it's like we're going back to the dinosaur years.
"Chelsea has always been kind of a racist ground to go and play at times. We used to get it every week at Millwall. We didn't even want to go down the touchline and chase the ball the fans were so bad.
"I thought it was starting to change and evolve but the scenes were disgusting.
"We thought it had gone and it is getting bad so something needs to be done. Ban these fans when they do it for life."
5. The one where Raheem dared to fly on a budget airline. pic.twitter.com/UA4FJNFsFb— Adam Keyworth (@adamkeyworth) May 28, 2018
Morrison hailed the response by Sterling, who has been a favourite target for the tabloids, with stories ranging from him getting a tattoo of a gun (he said in memory of his murdered father) to flying on EasyJet or simply going to breakfast.
"Fair play to Raheem Sterling, he dealt with it really well," said Morrison.
"The press in England give him some terrible stick for no reason.
"He could be in a pound shop or flying Ryanair but because they think he should flying first-class everywhere he goes... He's just trying to be a normal person."
On his own experience of playing for Ireland, Morrison said that although he had some initial concerns, the Irish people had taken him to their heart and that an away game in Russia was the only time he experienced racist abuse in the green shirt.
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"I chose to play for Ireland. Being a black man that was born in England I knew they could either love me or I could get a bit of stick.
"But nine times out of 10, the majority of people in Ireland were brilliant to me.
"The only time I got racially abused was playing for Ireland in Russia. I knew straight away when I got out there I was going to get stick.
"But the best thing I did was put the ball in the back of the net. It probably made them (the Russian fans) do it even more.
"I would deal with it how Raheem Sterling would deal with it, just ignore them and carry on doing my business on the pitch because those small-minded people are not going to get the better of me."
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