Reading skipper Jobi McAnuff has defended team mate Jason Roberts’ decision not to wear the Kick It Out T-shirt at the weekend, and blasted Sir Alex Ferguson for his unsympathetic reaction to Rio Ferdinand joining the boycott of the anti-racism campaign.
On Friday, Ferguson and other Premier League managers spoke out in condemnation of the boycott and insisted all of their players would be wearing the Kick It Out t-shirts during their pre-match warm-ups.
The United boss said in a press conference: “I have to disagree with Jason Roberts. I think he is making the wrong point. Everyone should be united, with all the players in the country wearing the Kick it Out warm-up tops.”
Rio Ferdinand however, against his boss’s wishes, joined the protest and did not wear the T-shirt bearing the slogan “one game, one community” before United’s match against Stoke at Old Trafford on Saturday.
After the game, Ferguson told reporters, “I am disappointed. I said on Friday that the players would be wearing it in support of the PFA and that every player should adhere to it. And he goes and lets us down. We will deal with it, don’t worry.”
Reading’s Jobi McAnuff has now backed Roberts and Ferdinand in their right to protest.
“It’s not anyone else’s position to say if players should or shouldn’t wear it, or that it’s an embarrassment,” said the Reading captain.
When asked for an explanation for Jason Roberts’ decision to start the boycott, the midfielder told reporters: “I respect Jason’s decision. That is his prerogative.
“When you’ve got other managers getting involved, you just think if they took the time to sit down with Jason and have a chat, he’s got an inside track on that.
“So for people that don’t know the inside and the background, it was out of order to comment.”
Despite their disagreement, Ferguson is likely to field Ferdinand for United’s Champions League clash with Braga tomorrow night.
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