Football: it’s a funny old racist, money-grabbing game | Letters

Readers on the dearth of non-white managers, Amazon’s entry to the broadcasting Premier League, rail seating at football grounds, and the World Cup

We have no doubt at all that there are many white men in football who react adversely to “outspoken black men” (Stan Collymore interview: ‘The thing white men hate the most is outspoken black men’, 11 June). However, the difficulties encountered by people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds in football stem not just from the racial prejudices of individuals, but the processes of whiteness and institutional racism that pervade football as they do UK society.

This is aggravated by the common argument that racism in football has been addressed and now dealt with, sometimes because there is reasonable representation of minoritised individuals as players. That Collymore is still pressing the case for the introduction of the Rooney Rule after so many years is indicative of the entrenched institutional resistance in football to racial equality. We of course endorse the idea of adopting the Rooney Rule, which would ensure black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates at least get on to the shortlist for managerial appointments, but that is only scratching the surface. We say this at a time when boardrooms, committees, disciplinary panels and key decision-makers in football remain so white. In such circumstances it is unsurprising that white players disproportionately benefit from privileging through informal tutoring, mentoring, social networks and freedom from the racism that risks driving excellence out of the game. Such processes of course affect far more people at grassroots level away from the world of professional football.

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