Pros need to speak to young people about their experiences, says SRtRC patron
Players have the power – players can help Show Racism the Red Card by talking to the school kids about their experiences.
Former Charlton midfielder Paul Mortimer
Former Charlton player Paul Mortimer is the latest ex-professional to speak about the importance of footballers supporting anti-racism campaigns.
Speaking to BBC Radio Five Live this morning, Paul said: “Racism is a problem in society, it's bigger than football.”
His comments followed a weekend where a number of high profile Premier League footballers refused to wear the T-Shirts produced by Kick It Out, another anti-racism organisation, before their league fixtures.
Paul, who made almost 200 appearances for Charlton Athletic Football Club, is a patron of Show Racism The Red Card, and has supported the organisation for more than ten years.
Interviewed on the station's flagship news programme, the Victoria Derbyshire show, Paul said the FA needed to be do more to tackle racism in football.
“I need to have confidence these things are going to be taken seriously,” he said. “There's no point complaining to the authorities if they aren't going to take it seriously and just pay lip service.”
Paul said the work of Show Racism The Red Card was invaluable and urged more players to get involved in anti-racism work.
“Show Racism The Red Card go into schools to educate children about racism,” Paul said. “We request players to come our events and speak about their experiences.
“Players have the power – players can help Show Racism the Red Card by talking to the school kids about their experiences.”
Chief executive of Show Racism the Red Card, Ged Grebby, said: “Show Racism the Red Card was founded to use the profile of footballers to educate young people about racism.
“The campaign works with over 50,000 young people each year in schools and at events at football clubs. Without the support of players, our positive anti-racism message is diminished.”