English soccer player criticizes Amazon after book review bomb

Jack Baer
Eniola Aluko is one of 11 women with more than 100 caps in England history. (Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)

A British soccer star’s book is being review-bombed on Amazon, and she is now calling out the company itself for not doing more to stop it in her column with The Guardian.

Eniola Aluko, a forward for Juventus’ women’s team and the English national soccer team, released a book on Aug. 29 entitled “They Don’t Teach This,” a memoir about her career as a player, analyst and lawyer (she graduated with first-class honors from Brunel University’s law school in 2008).

Soon, the book was hit with extremely negative reviews. Per the Associated Press, 27 out of 31 reviews on Amazon’s United Kingdom site gave the book a one-star rating, with reviewers reportedly calling the book “anti-white racist drivel,” saying the author chose to “play the race card” and that she was “coming across as a racist herself.” The lone review on the American site as of Friday calls the book “full of hate and hot air.”

Not uncoincidentally, Aluko criticized a fanbase whose team had just been fined £10,000 for its racist chanting in a tweet last week. Her Twitter is now private after what she described as “a barrage of personal abuse.”

From the column:

Within 48 hours of my tweet Amazon had received and duly published dozens of one-star reviews by people who had neither bought nor read the book, reviews that were mostly not themselves racist but whose authors were clearly motivated by tribalism, bitterness and hatred.

Aluko, who was born in Nigeria and raised in Birmingham, England, asked Amazon to delete the reviews. The online retail behemoth responded by telling the AP it does not remove reviews based on one-star ratings, using investigators and automated technology to detect “inauthentic comments.” It did not say why those systems allowed Aluko’s reviews to stay up.

Publisher Penguin Random House reportedly said it is in contact with Amazon, while the Professional Footballers' Association is backing Aluko, per the AP.

Aluko was previously at the center of a scandal regarding former England manager Mark Sampson.

Aluko, who is one of 11 players with 100 caps in England women’s history, alleged the coach said she should make sure her Nigerian relatives weren’t infected with Ebola while visiting for a game in 2014. Sampson was eventually dismissed

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