We interviewed Aaron Evans a 24 year old disability football player from Kinmel Bay in Conwy. Aaron played for Everton FC, Team GB and is now a coach at Prestatyn
We are fortunate in Wales to have a fantastic campaign such as Show Racism the Red Card who have the support of the FAW and its clubs towards educating our young people and working with us to highlight the message across Wales.
Show Racism the Red Card recently held a club event for young people at Prestatyn Town FC.
We interviewed Aaron Evans a 24 year old disability football player from Kinmel Bay in Conwy.
Aaron suffers from cerebral palsy and chronic pancreascitis and is currently working towards his ‘C’ coaching licence.
Aaron played for Everton FC, Team GB (2003) and is now a coach at Prestatyn Town FC.
Have you experienced racism?
Through having a disability I have personally experienced discrimination. I have also witnessed racist abuse targeted at other fellow players from fans, and players, both at lower leagues and at games I have seen in the premier league.
How do you think we can get rid of racism in football?
It is important that communication is key, people that have experienced it - they have to talk about it and the topic needs to be discussed in an open manor so that the issues are raised and dealt with. For me it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from everyone should embrace each other and work together.
Why do you think that workshops like today are important for young people?
It's important for young people who might be quiet or not feel comfortable to speak out and workshops like these give the young people confidence and the information required to stand up and report it. The workshop allows the young people to ask questions on the topic they would not normally have the opportunity to do.
Do you think the football authorities and the governing bodies such as UEFA and FIFA should do more to challenge racism?
Of course they should. They are the pinnacle of the industry and the FAW and the world governing bodies should be working together as much as possible to ensure all clubs are promising the message as much as possible. They should be ensuring that players are acting responsibly, to be positive role models for our young people. Clubs such as Prestatyn and other WPL clubs, with the support they have shown SRtRC along with the FAW, can be a catalyst and good examples of how other clubs (including a premier league clubs) can follow and highlight the importance of the message.
In your view, what do you think the punishment should be for a player who has been found guilty of racist abuse on the field?
I think he certainly should be sent off. If being racist has an impact that players feel they have to walk off it shows how much of an effect it's has. With the increase of sponsorship and money in the game fining a player had little impact, I feel that players should be banned for a long period and punished severely, only then will we start seeing an improvement in football. There is such a fine line between what is known as banter and abuse and players must understand what they are saying and how they are acting and know what the consequences are.
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