THIS week we’ll hear a lot of bluster and hot air being spewed about the Kick It Out campaign, aimed at eradicating racism from football, which many feel was dealt a fatal blow this weekend.
Many players, including Rio Ferdinand, Jason Roberts and the entire Swansea and Wigan teams, are opting not to wear their Kick It Out t-shirts as a protest, presumably because of the perceived soft punishment handed out to Chelsea’s (still!) captain, John Terry.
It is a situation in my view horribly exacerbated by Alex Ferguson insisting Ferdinand had “embarrassed me” and “would be dealt with”.
Firstly, it’s not Alex Ferguson’s right to tell Ferdinand he can’t make a protest if he sees fit and it makes me uncomfortable hearing him offer such criticism.
Secondly, it’s now time for talking, between all the people involved.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that the Kick It Out campaign wants the same as the players who feel the system isn’t working well enough, the total eradication of racism in football.
Where are we going wrong and how can things be changed for the better?
Those discussions need to happen and they need to happen immediately. The perceived failure of an organisation run on less than half a million pounds per season shouldn’t distract from the far wider issue.
Football’s governing bodies, UEFA and FIFA, are FAR too soft on racial abuse, we know that only too well from the soft fines they dish out.
We have to be different, to be better. So let’s talk.