FA President Greg Clarke Forced To Apologize For Using The Term ‘Footballers Of Color’

0
89


Greg Clarke, the president of the Football Association, apologized for using the term ‘footballers of color’ in a disastrous appearance before MEPs from the Digital, Culture, Media and Media Committee. sports.

The 63-year-old also commented on the number of Asian and African-Caribbean people who work in the FA’s IT department, as well as insensitive comments on women’s football and gay footballers, which Clarke and the FA have. again to try to clarify or apologize.

Kick It Out responded with a damning statement, saying Clarke’s comments were “lazy stereotypes” and “occasional sexism” that represent “a big step backwards” after other laudable work by the FA.

Greg Clarke, FA President, apologized for using the term ‘footballers of color’

In a passage from her speech, Clarke said: “If I look at what happened to top footballers, top footballers of color. “

MP Kevin Brennan asked Clarke if he wanted to remove the use of the word “colorful”.

Brennan said: “When you said something earlier, I think I heard you refer to ‘people of color’ – if that is the case, would you take that language out? Because isn’t that exactly the kind of language that means that inclusion is not a reality even though football is very diverse and has many people from ethnic minorities and also gays.

Clarke replied, “If I said so, I deeply apologize. I am the product of having worked abroad.

“I worked in the US for many years where I had to use the term ‘people of color’ because it was a product of their diversity legislation, an affirmative action format, so sometimes I stumble. on my words and I apologize deeply.

Clarke's words once again called attention to the FA's commitment to diversity in football

Clarke’s words once again called attention to the FA’s commitment to diversity in football

But Clarke’s language on other matters during Tuesday’s appearance before MPs caused discomfort.

“If you look at high performance football, the Afro-Caribbean communities are overrepresented compared to the South Asian community,” Clarke said. “If you go to the IT department of the FA, there are a lot more South Asians than Afro-Caribbean.

“They have different career interests,” he added, while asserting that a coach once told him that young girls “don’t like the ball that is hit hard”.

On the topic of gay players in football, Clarke said: “Anyone who runs on the pitch and says Monday, ‘I’m gay I’m proud of it and I’m happy and it’s a life choice and I am. did and my life is a better place because I revealed “… I believe they would have the support of their comrades in the locker room. “

It’s unclear if Clarke was referring to “a choice of life” rather than being gay or dating.

The FA later issued a statement addressing one of Clarke’s remarks, saying: “Greg Clarke deeply apologizes for the language he used to refer to members of the ethnic minority community during the select committee hearing. .

“He acknowledged that the use of the term ‘colored’ is inappropriate and apologized wholeheartedly at the hearing. “

Julian Knight, the DCMS committee chairman, said in response on Twitter: “It is true that Greg Clarke has apologized to the committee, however, this is not the first time that the FA has complained about these issues. This leads us to question their commitment to diversity.

The Football Association was quick to apologize for Clarke's use of the word 'colorful'

The Football Association quickly apologized for Clarke’s use of the word “colorful”

Julian Knight, the DCMS committee chairman, was clearly not impressed with Clarke's words

Julian Knight, the DCMS committee chairman, was clearly not impressed with Clarke’s words

Kick It Out issued a damning statement, with Executive Chairman Sanjay Bhandari stating: “His use of outdated language to describe blacks and Asians as ‘colored’ goes back decades and should go down in the dustbin of history. . Being gay is not a “lifestyle choice” as he claims it too.

“The offhand sexism of saying that girls don’t like balls hit at them is staggering from anyone, let alone the leader of our national game. It is totally unacceptable.

“Despite all the advances made recently, the comments expressed today are a big step backwards. “

Clarke has already been criticized for his language when discussing racism.

In October 2017, he called institutional racism “fluff” while testifying at DCMS about discrimination in football.

Clarke was then appearing before the parliamentary committee after new evidence revealed ex-England women’s manager Mark Sampson made racial remarks to two players.

Clarke has already been criticized for the language he used when discussing racism

Clarke has already been criticized for the language he used when discussing racism

“It’s really important in a governance role not to jump to conclusions,” he said. “If I had jumped to conclusions halfway through this process – ‘there is no problem here, nothing was found, whatever’, you have to look at the end of what is established. “

He added: “What is established, putting aside all information on institutional racism, institutional intimidation” before the deputies intervened, one of them telling him that “language matters” and that his use of the word “speaks volumes”.

He responded with a 2,628-word apology that corrected a number of faults in the FA. He added: “Last week I was rightly blasted for using the term ‘soft toys’. It was a terrible word to use and I deeply regret it.

“What I was trying to say – and again we come back to the lack of confidence – is that I don’t believe in inclusion initiatives for themselves.

KICK IT OUT STATEMENT

“I was extremely disappointed to see Greg Clarke’s comments on the DCMS select committee. His use of outdated language to describe blacks and Asians as “colored” dates back decades and should go down in the trash of history. Being gay is not a “lifestyle choice” as he claims it too. The offhand sexism of saying girls don’t like balls hit at them is staggering on anyone’s part, let alone the leader of our national game. It is totally unacceptable.

“I was particularly concerned about the use of lazy racist stereotypes about South Asians and their supposed professional preferences. This reflects similar lazy stereotypes that I have heard at the club academy level.

“This kind of attitude may well explain in part why South Asians are statistically the most under-represented ethnic minority on the ground. We’ll talk about that later this week when we discuss some research that will be released on Thursday.

Football needs to step up and address this lack of representation of South Asians on the pitch – there has been virtually no progress in 40 years. My experience as a South Asian is that we don’t have different career aspirations, but we do have different outcomes. Talent is evenly distributed, but opportunities are not. Football organizations need to focus on spreading this opportunity in a consistent manner and eliminating the kind of systemic bias reflected in these lazy stereotypes.

“I have seen the good work the FA has done to create a more inclusive game, especially in the Diversity in Football Leadership Code. The FA has rightly been applauded for leading this effort. But these comments indicate that more needs to be done to challenge attitudes. Despite all the advances made recently, the comments expressed today are a big step backwards.

Executive Chairman, Sanjay Bhandari



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here