Mark McCammon wins case against Gillingham FC
A black footballer’s dismissal by his club was unfair racial victimisation, a tribunal has ruled.
Mark McCammon, 33, claimed Gillingham FC refused him treatment for an injury, docked his wages and fined him for not turning up during heavy snow.
At the employment tribunal in Ashford, Kent, he alleged he and other black players at the club were treated differently from white players.
Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion campaign, said: “This is a landmark ruling. It will inevitably have implications for all clubs about the way they treat people and do not discriminate against them on the grounds of race, colour, ethnicity or anything else.
“We await the details of the full judgement before we can offer any further comment.”
The League Two club said it was “hugely disappointed” by the decision.
At the hearing the striker said the club had tried to “frustrate him out” by refusing to pay private medical bills to help him regain his fitness following injury when he still had eight months left on his contract.
He said he was instead offered the choice of undergoing the same operation on the NHS rather than privately, which was “completely out of character” for a Football League club.
The former Charlton, Swindon, Millwall and Brighton player told the tribunal: “The way the chairman approached the matter was that he saw my injury as a way to get rid of any financial obligations such as my wages he might have as a result of my contract.”
He also claimed he and two other black players were ordered to come into the ground amid “treacherous”, snowy driving conditions otherwise their wages would be docked, while some white players were told they were not required.
It resulted in a confrontation with manager Andy Hessenthaler, who Mr McCammon claimed lost his temper with him after he had accused him of being “racially intolerant” over the decision to order them in.
Mr McCammon was subsequently ordered to attend a disciplinary hearing and later received a letter saying he was dismissed for aggressive conduct towards the manager and racism, it is claimed.
The Barbados international striker signed a three-year contract with Gillingham in 2008 and was released three seasons later.
Gillingham FC said it was in discussions with its lawyers to decide on the club’s next course of action and whether to appeal.
From BBC News