The PFA propose changes to players' contracts that would make racism gross misconduct
(Gordon Taylor pictured with Ben Amos, Martin Buchan and Amelia Slater, one of the winners of the recent SRtRC School Competition, at Old Trafford, May 3rd.)
Professional Footballers Association has proposed that racist abuse will become a sackable offence for professional footballers, reports The Guardian today. Changes to all players contracts in the Premier League and Football League could be made for the start of the 2012-13 season.
Gordon Taylor spoke to the Guardian about how the change to the contracts will highlight how seriously the PFA views racism. He said “"It just highlights the point in the standard players' contract. It would say that racist abuse, if found guilty, will be classed as gross misconduct and a reason to terminate a contract. I feel it's important to highlight it, bearing in mind what has happened, and not mess about with it and not afford for anybody to be ambiguous about what the consequences are.”
The move comes after two high profile incidents in the Premier league during the 2011-12 season. Luis Suarez was banned for eight games for racially abusing Patrice Evra, while John Terry was charged with a ‘racially aggravated public order offence’ following an altercation with QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, also in October. Terry denies the charge and will appear at a magistrate’s court in July.
Gordon Taylor also spoke about the need to “re-address the education process, rather than just think about sanctions.”
He explained that the PFA, working in tandem with the League Managers Association, are planning to bring in a new education programme that would lead to managers, all British and overseas players, and even directors and owners receiving training and advice in relation to racism and discrimination in football.
"Rather than just concentrate on the young apprentices as part of their curriculum, we want to introduce it to all senior players, and also that when players come in from abroad, to try and have an educational process for them and the owners of the club and management," said Taylor. "It will be part of the duty of [player liaison officers] introducing any player coming in from abroad to go through a list of things, particularly in the player's contract, where you see about racist abuse, code of conduct and what is expected in this country on racism and equality issues."
Show Racism the Red Card Chief Executive, Ged Grebby said “Education is absolutely vital in changing attitudes and building understanding and awareness of racism. As an anti-racism charity, we use the high profile of professional footballers to educate young people about racism through our resources and educational events. Football can be a tremendously positive example to young people in terms of working together, irrespective of Nationality, Culture, Religion or Skin Colour.”
“If players, managers, directors and owners can place further value on tackling the issue and the positive impact they can have on the local community through education, then we would certainly welcome this development.”
Read the full story in The Guardian here