THE chairman of the Football Association David Bernstein has discouraged the potential development of a separate black footballers’ association in the belief that it is not a suitable solution to the sports’ present problems.
It was yesterday revealed by leading human rights barrister Peter Herbert that talks for the proposed Black Players’ Association are at a preliminary stage after myriad Premier League footballers at the weekend refused to wear T-shirts promoting the Kick It Out ant-racism campaign, but it is an idea that Bernstein is reluctant to support.
“Fragmentation isn’t in anyone’s interest,” he said. “Great passions are involved here. I hope sense prevails and people can work together.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Clarke Carlisle is another to oppose any new group and fears that it could have a negative, long-term effect.
“It has the potential to be divisive because when you establish a black players’ union it would instantly define ‘us and them’ and that’s something we really need to work against,” Carlisle, a defender for York City, said. “We don’t need to separate the players when the whole focus and goal of anti-racism is to campaign for unity.”
The issue of racism within football has attracted a wider audience since last season’s incidents involving John Terry and Luis Suarez.