Show Racism the Red Card has written to both the Scottish Football Association as well as the Union of European Football Associations regarding the S.F.A not finding sufficient evidence that Douglas Ross breached the rule prohibiting officials from making comments of a discriminatory nature based on race or ethnicity.
Ross’ comments are a blatant display of racism and only serve to entrench divides and create a culture of intolerance toward Gypsy and Travelling communities: ‘Illegal and unauthorised gypsy traveller encampments are a significant problem with the settled community continually complaining that gypsy travellers receive preferential treatment’. Ross would only have to read the recently published ‘Is Scotland Fairer’ report to know that Gypsy and Travelling Communities are the most disenfranchised groups across all indicators and Ross’ comments are irresponsible and only serve to further marginalise Gypsy and Travelling community members. Moreover, under the McPherson definition of racism, Show Racism the Red Card perceives Ross’ comments to be racist. So while the S.F.A may not consider it to be a breach of Policy, we deem this to be a racist incident under the law. Similarly, Amnesty International and a number of organisations have contacted us regarding this along with concerned community members as they too perceive it to be a racist incident.
To this end, just like all leaders, the S.F.A are in a position of power and its actions as an organisation set a precedent to communities throughout Scotland and we are disappointed that the S.F.A are not using its powers to set an example based on Rights respecting values and equality for all.
Moreover, if the Conservative Party has recognised the need for Equality and Diversity training for Douglas Ross, the S.F.A should take a stand too.
In the same breath however, we do need to recognise all of the in-kind support that the S.F.A give our organisation but we feel in this instance, it is irresponsible to overlook Ross’ divisive comments.