Positive discrimination in sport – a good or pointless thing?

I thought they were trying to kick racism OUT of football ?

Football has moved on a long way since I stood on the terraces in despair in the late 1970s when ignorant boneheaded fans threw bananas at my idols, Cyrille Regis and Laurie Cunningham. Watch the highlights of
Manchester United 3 WBA 5 from 1978 on Youtube and listen to the crowd when either Regis or Cunningham (later to join the Reds) take possession of the ball. Listen to the after match comments from Ron Atkinson who
said “either of the coloured boys” were his choice for Man of the Match.
Thankfully, a third of a century later, this has stopped but to encourage the appointment of a manager because he is black is just as insulting. Perhaps, like young British Asian footballers, they are simply not good enough (yet) or have not reached an age where they would consider a job in football management.
I don’t think there is a chairman in the UK who would not appoint a manager because of the colour of his skin and potentially lower the chances of his club improving.
As yet, I can’t think of any black players who are (a) world class and  (b) at that age where they would be considering a move into top class football management.  We can all think of great international players who did not progress into football management, the colour of their skin was not a factor in their decision. Maybe Viv Anderson or Ian Wright could have managed a club in the 1990s but just didn’t want to, rather than their colour preventing them.

Sport is the biggest arena in the world for racial equality. I cheer a goal scorer for my team regardless of where he happened to be born. When you see Pele on TV, the last thing that goes through your mind is “he’s black”.
Sport is the most inclusive thing that we naturally do.  We are the most tolerant country in the world, that’s why half a million people come here every year to settle.  We have Muslim school governors, Asian MPs, Sikh mayors,
faith schools that break our equality laws on sex and religion, black-only theatre productions and an industry of support groups that do so much more for black women than the countries those women have arrived from. No other country has provided such an open and fair society. In 10 to 15 years time when the current  black players are ready for a manager’s role, their application MUST be taken on merit alone.

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3 comments on “Positive discrimination in sport – a good or pointless thing?”

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  1. Reads like you are conflating religion with race. Also are you supporting faith schools, they seem pretty much the opposite of tolerant or diverse.

  2. Stuart Hatfield

    No, I don’t support faith schools ; we go through life meeting and interacting with people of many faiths, so to bring youngters up in a faith school in the UK surely can’t be of benefit.

  3. Viv Anderson did have an unsuccessful spell as manager of Barnsley…

    Rio Ferdinand is close to world class (better than 100 John Terry’s anyway), coming towards the latter days of his career and an intelligent bloke, maybe he could be someone who could give it a go?

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