The Chairman of the society of black lawyers, Peter Herbert has attacked the FA for “systematic racism” in English football and has told TalkSport that there is a need for a Black players union.
Racism in football has certainly been in the limelight in the past few weeks, with John Terry’s four game ban triggering a protest from many of the Premier League’s black players by deciding not to wear the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign warm-up T-shirts. The most notable players involved included Rio Ferdinand, Anton Ferdinand and Jason Roberts.
Furthermore, the racial abuse suffered by the England U21s in Serbia has led many to believe that governing bodies such as the FA, UEFA and FIFA have not done enough to stamp out racism in football.
Peter Herbert believes that black players require their own organisation in order to protect them from further racial abuse has criticised those who view the black players union as a breakaway movement.
Herbert told TalkSport: “There is fairly systematic racism. There is a glass ceiling in terms of managers and coaches.
“The FA systematically under-reports racism on the pitch. Last year 106 incidents [were reported] throughout the whole of the FA, that can’t be right considering there were six incidents last week.
“Hardly any of those [106 incidents] have come to light. The approach of the F.A. is lift up the carpet and sweep it under”
Peter Herbert continued by rejecting the notion that a separate union or black players would create further divisions between white and black players. The barrister has pointed out that there are already unions for black lawyers and black policemen.
“[The black players union] is not a breakaway anything; it sits alongside mainstream structures and works in partnership with them.
“It’s a support group, somewhere safe to talk about your problems.
“They give the FA the primary information and expertise needed to change the system.
“Freedom of choice and change, that’s what we’re about” he added.