Greg Clarke’s resignation won’t make a difference in Football Association, says Joleon Lescott


Clarke became president of the Football Association in August 2016

Disclaimer: This report contains offensive language.

President Greg Clarke’s resignation will not improve diversity within the Football Association, says former England defender Joleon Lescott.

Clarke resigned Tuesday after using “unacceptable” language when referring to black players.

Lescott described Clarke’s comments as “very disturbing” and said even thinking of them made him “moved”.

“One hundred percent of black gamers want to see the change, but it’s not going to happen,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

The former Manchester City defender believes Clarke’s comments hint at structural problems within the FA and says any successor may be unable to bring about any real change.

“I don’t think a 63-year-old man in 2020 is using that expression for the first time, and that’s the problem,” he said.

“So we now expect the next person in line to hear and participate in this. Now he’s going to step in and we expect that person to move us forward.

“How do you expect change if the people in charge have the same or a similar mindset? “

Clarke’s language was “outdated” – PFA

Clarke made the comments by addressing the select committee of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) via a video link.

He used the term “footballers of color” when talking about the racist abuse of players by trolls on social media.

Clarke has received further criticism for her comments referring to gay players making a ‘life choice’, the different career choices of people from black and Asian communities, and about a coach telling her that young female players are not didn’t like the ball to be hit hard. their.

Former Huddersfield and Gillingham striker Iffy Onuora, who is equal to the Professional Footballers Association, says it shows more education is still needed on the effect of certain words and phrases and why they are offensive.

“It’s so outdated. There are certain terms that we no longer use for people with disabilities or gay people – we have moved on, ”he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“This is as much the message as it sounds. Remember, FA members expect the President to show leadership, make his voice heard, and lead some of the initiatives they lead, like everyone else in the game. ” ”

Will there be any change?

Former Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha said Clarke’s comments were “simply unacceptable”.

“It’s outrageous to be honest – it looks like something from 20 or 30 years ago,” he told 5 Live. “This language has been inappropriate for decades now, so it shows in some ways that he may have lived in an echo chamber where things like this are okay to say. “

Match of the day presenter and former England striker Gary Lineker told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that the organization is full of ‘a lot of old white men’ and said he believes real change cannot be achieved. implemented only if the FA, the English Football League and the Premier League worked together.

Former England winger John Barnes has said the issue of racism needs to be tackled by society as a whole, not just football.

“A lot of people now see this problem as if it were unique to football,” he told BBC Radio Wales.

“But if you look at the top echelons of any institution, a lot of white men over 50 have the same ideas. This is society as a whole and this is what we need to tackle, society as a whole. “

Former FA President David Bernstein said Clarke’s comments underscored the need for structural change in the FA.

Bernstein was part of a group that this month launched a manifesto for change called ‘Saving Our Beautiful Game’, calling for changes to the FA as well as an independent regulator of English football.

“The AM has withstood some serious changes over the years and frankly if you have an organization that isn’t modern, that hasn’t been updated, then this sort of thing is much more likely to happen.” , he told 5 Live.

“I hope there are progressive people across the board who believe strongly in this. I think the FA needs to think very carefully about what kind of person will lead the organization next time around.

Clarke’s comments come just two weeks after the FA revealed her news Football Leadership Diversity Code to tackle racial inequalities in the English game.

Onuora believes the code is a “step in the right direction” but says this incident highlights the need for further changes.

“It’s not the answer to everything,” he said. “Behaviors will also have to change and the ways of discussing these things, as we have seen today.

“But it’s a step in the right direction and that’s what the code is supposed to represent. “

Former Manchester United and England forward Andy Cole remains optimistic things are moving in the right direction and says people should wait and see if the new code has a positive impact.

“We need to make progress now,” he told BBC Breakfast. “I hope, given what we’re going through now, that in six months there will be some progress, and I want to see where we are. “


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