PFA Apologizes For Deserting Gillingham's Mark McCammon During Race Row
The Professional Footballers' Association has apologized to a black player who was sacked by his club because he "complained that they had racially discriminated against him," according to Ian Herbert of the London INDEPENDENT. Player Mark McCammon was advised by the players' union that it would not pursue his case against League Two Gillingham FC, which dismissed him in January after he "alleged he had been victimised because he is black." After McCammon sought his own legal advice to pursue the case, an independent industrial tribunal not only upheld his complaint, but ruled that "his accusations of racism against the club formed part of the reason for his dismissal." The tribunal stated in its findings, "[Gillingham] was in no position to assert that the accusations were false… because there was no investigation whatsoever into the accusations." PFA Chair Clarke Carlisle said that CEO Gordon Taylor had "apologised to McCammon, though the union's advice against taking the case to tribunal had been in good faith." The PFA encouraged the player to take a £15,000 ($24,190) pay-off from Gillingham, rather than "incur the far greater costs of a tribunal." Carlisle said that in the future, "greater weight would be put on an individual's desire to pursue such a case on a point of principle" (INDEPENDENT, 12/11).