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SBD Global/September 10, 2013/International Football

Professional Footballers Association Chair Carlisle Criticizes Players For Racism Stance

Professional Footballers Association Chair Clarke Carlisle "has criticised Rio and Anton Ferdinand in a strongly-worded attack on players who chose not to support last year's anti-racism T-shirt demonstration," according to the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. The brothers, ManU defender Rio and then-QPR player Anton, "were among several prominent black players who opted not to wear shirts issued by campaigning group 'Kick It Out' before a round of Premier League fixtures last October." Man City's Joleon Lescott and Reading striker Jason Roberts "were also high-profile figures in the boycott." Carlisle wrote in his new autobiography "You Don't Know Me, But... A Footballer's Life," that he was "bitterly disappointed" with the boycott and -- exempting Roberts -- "labelled players who took a stance against the T-shirt campaign without explaining their reasons 's***houses'" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 9/9).

FOLLOW UP QUESTION: In London, Jamie Jackson reported Kick It Out Chair George Ouseley has questioned why Rio and Anton Ferdinand, Lescott and other prominent black footballers "have not followed last year's refusal to wear anti-racism T-shirts with further protest." While Ouseley "was clear that he respected the players' decision" not to do so in light of Carlisle branding them "s***houses," Ouseley did say their action was not a "big deal" as it had not been followed up. He said, "When Clarke Carlisle says players talk the talk but they don't walk the walk, he's absolutely right because it's all right to say not enough is being done but, as he rightly says, when we have all these gigs challenging racism, where is the support? It's always the same footballers who have experienced racism who turn out and the others, however big or small they are in terms of their popularity or fame, are nowhere to be seen" (GUARDIAN, 9/9).
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