Thursday, October 18, 2012
READING STRIKER JASON ROBERTS REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE KICK OUT RACISM CAMPAIGN
Reading striker Jason Roberts is refusing wear a Kick It Out shirt at Anfield on Saturday in protest at what he says is the organisation's lack of action against racism in football in the last year.
Roberts, who is also a pundit for BBC Radio 5 Live, is set to be part of the Royals' squad that takes on Liverpool in a Barclays Premier League fixture.
Kick It Out's annual week of action starts on Thursday and players have traditionally worn shirts promoting it.
Referring to the incidents involving Terry and Suarez, Roberts told BBC Sport: 'I won't wear one. I find it hard to wear a t-shirt after what happened last year.'
Roberts added: 'I'm totally committed to kicking racism out of football but when there's a movement I feel represents the issue in the way that speaks for me and my colleagues, then I will happily support it.
'I think people feel let down by what used to be called "Let's Kick Racism Out of Football".'
Roberts also said that Terry's apology has come 'a year too late' and the FA punishment was too lenient.
Chelsea captain Terry was banned for four matches and fined £220,000 by the Football Association for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League match at Loftus Road on 23 October, 2011.
Liverpool striker Suarez received an eight-match ban and £40,000 fine for the same offence against Manchester United's Patrice Evra following a Premier League game on 15 October, 2011.
Roberts said he knew of other black players who were considering not wearing the T-shirts this weekend.
Roberts has been calling for football's authorities to take stronger action over racist incidents, and has also urged players to take matters into their own hands should they be subjected to abuse.
Following the shameful scenes in Serbia on Tuesday night, in which Rose was sent off after reacting to racial abuse, Roberts aired his thoughts on Twitter. He said: 'DRose, well done! I propose next time everyone walks STRAIGHT OFF THE PITCH!!! Then we will see how quickly "authorities" take to sort it...'