“I should’ve reported it” Jason urges players to speak out
Kick It Out ambassador, Jason Roberts, has spoken out amidst two high-profile allegations of racist abuse during this season’s One Game, One Community weeks of action.
Speaking on Radio 5live earlier this week, Jason commented on the incident involving John Terry and Anton Ferdinand: “I have my own views on what he said which I’ll keep to myself. I’m really interested in what he said given he replied to say ‘I didn’t say that’.
Commenting on his own personal experiences, he said: “Is racial abuse something that used to happen all the time? Absolutely. In my sporting career I’ve had it numerous times, more times I can count. Recently it’s slowed down. For people to react to high-profile incidents like this and say they can’t believe it, let me tell you that it’s happened across my career at all levels.
“But the battle isn’t won and people still need educating. If it can be proven that people have been doing it and it’s caught on camera or whatever, then they have to be punished because we can’t be seen to let people get away with this.
“The last time I was racially abused was five years ago. It was from a fellow player and I should’ve reported it. There’s an element of that being ‘the way it is’ but id like to think we’ve moved on from that now. My uncle, Cyrille Regis, got a lot of it when he played in the 70’s and 80’s and he just dealt with it. In this day in age, we need to change that.
“When you’re on the end of such abuse, there’s no peace to be made. Anyone who thinks they can resort to racial abuse to put you off your game, and they’re ‘not really like that’, then that’s simply not good enough.
“There’s kids watching, people on the crowd and football is such a talking point and players being role models, which im often not sure is really the case. But if people are proven to be doing this, they can and should be punished.
“We’ve got the Euros coming up where there’s a possibility that racist abuse may take place. Things need to be put in place so they don’t have to put up with racist abuse from the crowd.”