Our coaches share their experiences and comment on recent alleged incidents of racism
Show Racism the Red Card employs 16 former professional footballers as education workers and football coaches in our direct work in schools around the UK.
Following the recent high profile cases of alleged racist incidents in professional football in England some of the coaches have been interviewed by national press about their experiences and opinions.
Speaking in The Guardian, Leroy Rosenior recounted his earliest experience of racism in football: "My first memory of racism on the pitch was when I was 17. I was bending down to pick the ball up, with 10,000 Leeds United supporters doing the Nazi salute at me. You had the usual monkey chants too and people shouting, "you black bastard". It was the norm and people treated it as banter. When players got upset about it they were accused of having a problem – the victim was seen as an accuser. If you wanted to be a professional footballer you had to have a thick skin. People said it was the same as being called fat."
You can read the full piece here.
Interviewed in the Daily Mail, Luther Blissett spoke about how much the situation with racism has changed from when he was playing:
"I think we've got away from the idea black players can only play at centre forward because they're quick, but white players have to play in central midfield because they're the ones clever enough to dictate the play.
"Managers now just look at a player's attributes and how best they can utilise his ability. It doesn't matter whether he's black or white."
You can read the full article here.
"It was just accepted that people would call you names and throw bananas at you. There was nobody and nowhere you could complain. But black footballers now have a voice. Not for them the careers that were pretty much over once the complaint went in or had to leave the game because they couldn't deal with the constant abuse."
Also in The Guardian on Wednesday there was an article looking at why there is still racism in football. SRtRC Head Coach, Gary Bennett was asked if he thought racism would ever disappear completely. Gary said: “"All you can do is just keep working on it. We've got to keep fighting it, day in, day out."
The full article is available here.