News & Updates

Racism in grassroots football – work still to be done

The issue of racism in football has reared its ugly head again in recent weeks.

Two high profile allegations of racist abuse in Premier League matches have dominated much of the sports news agenda, with Metropolitan Police and Football Association investigations into the allegations ongoing.

Unfortunately the problems are not exclusive to the upper echelons of the game. A Club Website poll has revealed that almost one third of the grassroots football community has witnessed some form of racism at their local football matches in the last 12 months.

Over 2,000 Club Website members were polled and, for the second successive year, 32 percent reported having witnessed racism at a grassroots football match at some point in the last year.

Former Aston Villa star Earl Barrett, now a Kick It Out ambassador, described the results as “very disappointing”.

“Even one incident would be disappointing,” Barrett told Club Website. “It just goes to show that, although we’ve come a long way in fighting racism and discrimination, we still need to work hard, even harder, to eradicate it totally.”

The former England international urged people to report any incidents of racial abuse to the relevant authorities.

Earl Barrett: racism in football "shouldn't be happening"

“Tell the league, tell the local FA and tell Kick It Out so that we can do something about it. This sort of thing shouldn’t be happening.”

On a more positive note, over 350 teams came together this month to support equality in football by taking part in the inaugural Kick It Out Cup – a tournament supported by Club Website and Lucozade Powerleague giving amateur teams the opportunity to be managed by a football legend.

Barrett, one of the Dream Managers who worked with competition finalists at the Northern Final at Trafford Powerleague last Sunday, described the initiative as “fantastic”.

“The Kick It Out Cup is fantastic because grassroots football is so important. The work that people at grassroots level do is fundamental to every kind of football in the UK.  We all come from the grassroots,” he said.

“Grassroots football brings together people from all backgrounds, different cultures and different races.  It lets people interact with others from different walks of life. They come together, play football and enjoy themselves. That’s what it’s all about.”

As the results of our latest poll suggest, there is plenty of work still to be done to tackle racism at all levels of football.

But, with the Kick It Out Cup at the forefront, the grassroots game is making strides in the right direction.

Dan Pope, Club Website editor

Please report any racism witnessed in grassroots football to Kick It Out. For more information visit kickitout.org.

To find out more about the Kick It Out Cup, please click here.

Club Website poll result:

Have you witnessed any racism at your grassroots football matches over the last 12 months?

* No  68.1%
* Yes  31.9%

Total votes cast: 2,404

COMMENTS

Mr happy says:

I have never experienced racism at grassroots but I know many people have. I also think all Of the premier league racism is pathetic. IT NEEDS TO STOP!!!!!!!!

December 4, 2011 at 09:16

jamie says:

If terry is guilty and not punished then the whole FA respect campaign is a waste of time and money!
The FA need to set an example to others!
when EDUARDO dived in the champions league and got banned i know that didn,t stop diving but that reduced the divers and this should be the same with people who verbally abuse players,ref,s etc

November 21, 2011 at 17:50

owen martin says:

I have had a young player who plays for me called names.& he is an u12 player,
people who usually racailly abuse others don’t know any better

November 18, 2011 at 13:54

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