28 July 2014 10:28
Former England centre-back Sol Campbell believes black players are “too scared” to openly talk about racism in football.
Campbell claimed in March that he could have been captain of his country for 10 years had he been white, in an authorised biography serialised in the Sunday Times.
That assertion was met with scepticism in some quarters, including from Paul Ince – who became the first black player to skipper England in a friendly against the United States in June 1993.
Campbell – who represented clubs including Arsenal and Tottenham during his career – has now stated his belief that some black ex-professionals are afraid to speak out about racial abuse, and he is disappointed by the lack of support for his opinions.
“They are seeing what is happening around them and they don’t do anything about it. They love the status quo. They just want to toe the line,” Campbell said at the opening of the Black Cultural Archive in London, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
“It’s a case of ‘I’m all right, I don’t care who is coming up behind me. I’m too scared to own up’. Well, I’m not like that and I am never going to be like that, I’m just going to be me.
“People could have said what they did in a different way. John Barnes had bananas thrown at him. He is almost acting like nothing happened to him. People like him could have said, ‘maybe not 10 years, but I could see where he was coming from. Articulate it in a different way.'”
On Ince, he added: “Then you’ve got Paul Ince [speaking] in the Daily Mail. It’s like: ‘Really?!’ What position are you protecting when your position can so easily be taken away?
“I know some of the political people are trying to kind of move the FA [Football Association] in certain ways.
“But you just get to the stage where, if I’ve got black ex-players going against me then you start to think: ‘What is going on here? I’ll just let people drift and carry on doing my own thing.'”