First steps to a Black Footballers Association ?

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Black footballers made fantastic history over the weekend. A small number of prominent players collectively protested about the games inability to effectively deal with racism. One could argue that the focus of their frustration, ‘Kick out racism' of football, was slightly misguided, but the collective political statement could not have been more powerful. By boycotting the wearing of the ‘Kick out racism’ shirts, they were in effect stating; ‘Deal with racism on and off the field’.

Moreover, it was the most senior Black player in the premiership-Rio Ferdinand-who led the charge. Ferdinand was backed by other senior and respected players including Jason Roberts, Anton Ferdinand, Joleon Lesscott, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Micah Richards, Kenwyne Jones and the entire Wigan and Swansea squads.

The English premiership has been convulsed by the incompetency of dealing with on and off racism in the last year. Those making racist remarks such as Luis Suarez, and John Terry have pitied Black players against Black players whilst adding insult to injury by their long drawn out denials.

What is significant about this weekend has been the coordinated response by a significant number of Black players. Having made this quantum leap it is now important they use this momentum to establish a collective voice to tackle race inequality in the game. In the USA, for example, collective Black voices within basketball, football, and baseball has helped established the Black Coaches Association which helps ensure a greater number of African American coaches come through.

A Black footballers Association could be that UK vehicle. With more that 33% of players in the premiership being Black even a small levy from those players would ensure it was well funded, independent and had the collective backing when it spoke up on issues of race.

Black players in the premiership showed the type of leadership we have all been waiting for. Now it’s time to build upon that and ensure we effectively deal with the games racism.

Simon Woolley

Archived Comments

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Black Footballers Association

Simon. I agree with you in how this is a significant moment and has the potential to develop into something really positive though the creation of a self funded body of Black Footballers. I applaud Rio Ferdinand's action along with others that was powerful enough to not have to bow down to an ill thoughtout comment from Alex Ferguson and as a result engaged a lot of minds around the issue in the more familiar context of football as opposed to the sometimes difficult political conversation around racism.

Not just football

Racism is rampant, wherever whites economically dominate and live. This includes Asians, arabs and east indians. They are all white people. Whos not tired of being oppressed by them? We need to hold a global labor strike

Mike's comment

"Racism is rampant, wherever whites economically dominate and live. This includes Asians, arabs and east indians. They are all white people."

Really?

Are you really trying to say that Black people are the only ones who experience racism. Historically and sadly to its present day, Indian and South East Asian communities face a lot of racism and discrimination in the UK and elsewhere. Just look at the article on this site alone about the EDL!
Why are you trying to make an enemy of another community which face the same disadvantages, rather than making an ally.

Mike Has A Point.

"Racism is rampant, wherever whites economically dominate and live. This includes Asians, arabs and east indians. They are all white people. Whos not tired of being oppressed by them? We need to hold a global labor strike"

I don't agree that Asians, Arabs and East Indians are white. They are not. Are some of them prejudiced against Black people?

The answer is yes.

Yinka and Mike's comment

The fact the some Asians, Arabs, or East Indians may be prejudiced against black people is true. The same could be said of some Black people to these communities. When you are talking about millions of people - of course some will be prejudiced.

But my point about 'making an enemy of another community which face the same disadvantages, rather than making an ally' still applies.
The colonial mentality of divide and rule still reigns.

Federation of Black Players union?

According to the Dail Mail there has been talks about a Black Players Union, although Rio Ferdinand has dismissed such talk by tweeting, 'don't believe what you read in the papers.'

I myself would welcome the idea of a Black players union, given that they feel very let down by the players union PFA and the FA. At the very least they should have a stronger representation within the PFA to speak for Black players in football.

Black footballers don't even support their own!

Most black players marry and support white woman. I don't give a toss if they are abused on the pitch when they get millions each year and the majority of them are not investing this back to support us as a people.

I'd rather we as black people spend our time and energy campaigning for the mostly brown and black people who barely get paid a living wage and face stark racism each day then these overpaid wimps.

BLACK PLAYERS ASSOCIATION

It appears that many in society begin to feel threatened when blacks begin to self-organise, why is this?

One voice for - CHANGE

Hi Simon - you’re doing a great job my friend. I feel the black voice is better heard inside these institutions. The prominent folks among us, needs to be united strategically to enforce change. Operation Black Vote can be the foundation and start of bringing this about! Why not?

Black Football Association

How can FA possibly kick racism out of football when there are black players past & present who don't acknowledge ther is a problem! I agree with Louise Bennett most black footballers don't realise they are black until something like this happens to remind them of the colour of their skin.

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