SRtRC statement on Trevor Sinclair

Trevor Sinclair has been a patron of Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) for many years, throughout his playing days as a professional footballer and since hanging his boots up, Trevor has given a lot of time, freely and unpaid, to help in the fight against racism.

It is with regret and sadness that SRtRC learned of his recent conviction for a racially aggravated public order offence. Someone of Trevor’s standing, personal experience of racism and anti-racism credentials, cannot, and does not, dispute that this behaviour is unacceptable.

Show Racism the Red Card work to help young people understand the dangers of racism and the central tenet of our work, is the message that education is the key to tackling racism.

Trevor recognises and has apologised for his actions, he has also re-iterated his commitment to the anti-racism cause and has already spoken with us about undertaking further anti-racism training with the campaign and his desire to continue to help in the fight against racism.

During the court case, the judge highlighted Trevor’s previous work to educate against racism and also his personal experience of having to face racism in his life, ‘I don’t know how anybody copes with that sort of thing and comes through it unmarked. So, it is particularly sad when events unfolded that night, the words you used that night.

During SRtRC’s 22-year history educating about racism, we have seen first-hand on many occasions, how powerful a story can be for young people when they see and hear from someone who is prepared to put their hands up and admit that they have been involved in racism but have learned from it.

Sadly, over recent years, most high-profile cases involving allegations of racism, even when proven and sanctions handed out, have not seen the perpetrators admit their mistakes, express remorse, or further still, apologise.

No one is born racist, behaviour is learned, when people in high profile positions use racist language, they will rightly face the spotlight and consequences of their actions. However, they also have an opportunity to turn a negative situation to a positive, to acknowledge and recognise that their story can be used as a power for change.

Trevor will have to live with the consequences of his actions that day, but his willingness to admit his mistake and his determination to use his personal experience to further the fight against racism will hopefully help prevent others making similar mistakes in the future.