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Rio Ferdinand speaks out
Views from the field
Did you know
BNP score own goal

Fight against racism in football

Rio speaks out

England defender Rio Ferdinand stands up to racists

How does racism affect you when you are faced by it?

On the pitch I would go in a bit stronger and challenge the abuser. Not verbally, I let the football do the talking and win and embarrass them.

I'm not the type to confront people but I will try and win the game so I can look them in the eye.

I was at school with Stephen Lawrence and will always remember when we heard he had been killed. The whole day got frozen.

People were coming in saying "Stephen Lawrence has got stabbed". I was a first year and he was a fifth year but we knew each other.

He was a quiet nice boy, into art and music; he had a purpose and wanted to do something in life.

What do players feel about football's role in dealing with difference?

At United we've players from England, Ireland, Argentina, Holland and South Africa. At Leeds we had Asian players in the youth and reserve teams.

There is a definite message from the players that all types of people can get along no matter where you are from or what your background is.

What would you say to those people who either think being a racist is OK, or those who are the victims?

Racists are bullies and I think you have to stand up to them. I often think that if these things aren't sorted out they get worse and escalate.

I've seen things as a footballer that don't make sense - for example a guy in Spain with dreadlock-style hair extensions who was making monkey noises at Emile Heskey. I didn't understand that.

I would say I want to live in an equal world where we are all respected.


Views from the field

"In my view racism has no place anywhere, let alone in football. The colour of someone's skin is nothing to do with anything. Burnley FC is against racism, it has no place in life" Stan Ternant, Manager of Burnley

"The players of Bradford City are united behind the campaign to help stamp out racism from football grounds and from society". David Wetherall, Bradford City

There is no place in sport or society for racism. It is everyone's responsibility to rid this evil from our communities." Sam Allardyce, Bolton Wanderers

"Intolerance and ignorance is something we shouldn't tolerate. It's important that we all stand together against racism." Niall Quinn, Sunderland legend

"We live in a multi-cultural society and racism should not be tolerated - either on the streets or on a football pitch." David Johnson, Nottingham Forest

West Bromwich Albion FC are proud to support and actively be involved in the campaign to combat racism both from football and society in general. Football is an excellent example of integration and a force for good. Brendon Batson, Managing Director, West Bromwich Albion

"Any form of racism should be stamped out. Britain's diversity adds to society. We are delighted to offer our support in helping to Kick Racism out of Football." Iain Dowie, Oldham Athletic

"Kick It Out is a fantastic initiative and we should do all we can to banish racism from society and unite through sport." Youri Djorkaeff, Bolton Wanderers


Did you know that

England captain David Beckham has Jewish roots?

David Beckham, "I'm a quarter Jewish. My mother's father is Jewish and I'd say I've probably had more contact with Judaism than with any other religion."
According to Becks: "I used to wear the traditional Jewish skullcaps when I was younger and went along to some Jewish weddings with my grandfather."

The world's first black professional footballer played in 1888?
Arthur Wharton played as a goalkeeper for Preston NE at the start of professionalism and later went on to Sheffield United. The all round brilliant athlete went on to work as a coal-miner.

The Cother brothers were the first Asians to play professional football?
In the 1890s the Anglo-Indian (ie, mixed race and born in India) Cother brothers were playing for Watford. The brothers were described by one on-looker of the time as "as hard as nails".

Ryan Giggs is mixed race?
"A lot of people don't know that my father is black. He was a professional rugby player in the area that I played as a youngster.
So a lot of people who I went to school with knew who he was and knew that he was black. So I would get racist taunts in school."

Abdul Salim played for Celtic in the 1930s?
Abdul Salim - full name Mohammed Hashean - was brought to Parkhead in the 1930s. Salim was noted for his hard shot and attracted attention by not wearing regulation heavy football boots.


BNP score England own goal

false patriots

The political party that claims to stand up for English people does not even support the national football team.

During last summer's World Cup the BNP called for supporters to back teams other than England in protest at the number of black players in the squad. The BNP even urged support for Denmark - an all-white team. They claimed that this made them a better side than the multiracial England team.

Unfortunately for the BNP the Danes were thrashed by England, with the first goal scored by Rio Ferdinand.

One northern BNP organiser even declared that he could not support England because of the "six Negroids" in the team.

That is an insult to the England team, England fans and the country as a whole. It is also an insult to the black England players who are proud to wear the national shirt.

Black sports men and women such as, Lennox Lewis, Nasser Hussain, Linford Christie and Denise Lewis have all proudly represented their country.

A BNP Britain would remove all non-white people from this country. Any left would become second-class citizens - by law - under the BNP's apartheid system.

An England team under a BNP Britain would be without Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole. It would also be without David Beckham as he is part- Jewish.

So the next time the BNP tell you that they are standing up for England, just remember that they failed to support the national team in last year's World Cup.

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