23 October 2012 03:19
Show Racism the Red Card wants a summit meeting to tackle the grievances of players who boycotted the ‘Kick It Out’ t-shirt campaign.
Kick It Out’s annual fortnight of anti-racism action in British football began on Thursday and ends on October 29.
However, several high-profile players, including Rio and Anton Ferdinand, Jason Roberts, Micah Richards and entire teams, including Wigan Athletic and Swansea City, opted not to wear t-shirts supporting the campaign.
The boycott was apparently in protest to the four-match ban imposed on John Terry by the Football Association for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, a punishment some players felt was too lenient.
Anti-racism group Show Racism the Red Card has released a statement explaining they understand the reasons why certain players chose to boycott the t-shirts and hopes the football authorities will draw up a plan on how to move forward and tackle racism within the game.
Show Racism the Red Card stated: “We fully understand the anger of the Ferdinand family and Jason Roberts in relation to the FA handling of the John Terry case. Both Rio and Jason are long-standing patrons of our campaign and are recognised in our Hall of Fame for their work.
“The issue of not wearing the Kick It Out shirts at the weekend highlights the displeasure of certain players in relation to the footballing authorities’ handling of the incidents of racism in the game.
“We call on the players involved to now sit down with us, KIO and the PFA to draw up a plan of action to present to the footballing authorities and government.”
Lord Ouseley, chairman of the Kick It Out group, has said he understands where the players are coming from but also urged them to speak out about their grievances, rather than boycott the campaign.
“The issue is that the t-shirts have become the story whereas the actual grievances of black players, both current and former, have not come out in the open,” he told the BBC.
“The black players who have expressed themselves by saying they are not going to wear the T-shirt are doing so because they genuinely believe there are grievances that have not been addressed.
“Those grievances can only be addressed if we confront them, not by gestures of not wearing a T-shirt, but I understand why people don’t do that.”