QPR defender Anton Ferdinand emulated his brother Rio by refusing to wear a T-shirt in support of equality group Kick It Out’s anti-racism campaign before Sunday’s clash against Everton, after Rio Ferdinand angered his manager Alex Ferguson by ignoring his instruction to wear the anti-racism t-shirt.
Kick It Out had asked all Premier League players to wear the T-shirts featuring the slogan ‘one game, one community’ in pre-match warm-ups before their games at the weekend in a bid to draw attention to the evil of racism.
The Ferdinand brothers are believed to feel Kick It Out should have done more to push for a stronger punishment for Chelsea defender John Terry who was hit with a four-match ban and fined £220,000 after he was found guilty of racially abusing fellow English man Anton Ferdinand during a match between QPR and Chelsea last October.
Other footballers who decided against wearing the T-shirts are Shaun-Wright Philips, Junior Hoilett, Victor Anichebe, Sylvain Distin, Jason Roberts, and Joleon Lescott.
Speaking on his decision, Victor Anichebe said racism should be kicked out of everything, not just football.
“Are we really kicking it out? There’s a situation that’s just happened. I believe in kicking racism out of everything not just football- kick it out of society.”
“Situations have happened and I don’t feel the outcome has been just. I won’t wear the T-shirt, I don’t think it’s right to wear it. If other people want to wear it, that’s their right. I don’t want to be some poster boy for Kick Racism Out Of Football. ”
“You don’t really see the T-shirts until something happens, then we decide to wear the T-shirts,” Anichebe said.
Racism has been the bane of football, especially in Europe where players have suffered disturbing racist taunts. Despite several campaigns by football governing bodies around the world, footballers still continue to suffer racist comments. Racism remains a big challenge for football, the sport once thought to be the most unifying factor for different races.