Players show racism the red card
IPSWICH Town stars teamed up with schoolchildren to send out a stark message that racism will not be tolerated in football.Jermaine Wright, Marcus Stewart and Martijn Reuser took part in a Show Racism the Red Card presentation at the Sir Alf Ramsey suite at Portman Road yesterday and presented awards to the youngsters for the best anti-racist messages.
IPSWICH Town stars teamed up with schoolchildren to send out a stark message that racism will not be tolerated in football.
Jermaine Wright, Marcus Stewart and Martijn Reuser took part in a Show Racism the Red Card presentation at the Sir Alf Ramsey suite at Portman Road yesterday and presented awards to the youngsters for the best anti-racist messages.
London-born Wright admitted he had been subjected to racial abuse as a youngster but learned to stand up to it.
"I was too scared to tell anyone for quite a while. But when I did I found things got easier," he said.
"The message to anyone who experiences racism, or even witnesses it, is to tell someone."
Ipswich hosted the event as part of the Football Against Racism in Football (Fare) in which clubs from 15 countries are taking part.
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Dutchman Martijn Reuser believes things are getting better within football but added: "Work on yourself to become a better person and then stop other people from acting in a racist way."
Town striker Stewart has never experienced racial problems at Portman Road but is well aware that it goes on at many grounds and said it should never be tolerated.
"People will enjoy going to football a lot more without those sort of people. If anyone sees or hears any sort of racist abuse or chants they should inform a steward. The people responsible will be thrown out and good riddance."
Almost 100 students from across Suffolk watched a short video featuring a large number of football stars talking about their experiences, including England midfielder Kieron Dyer.
He recalled how his father had been angered by racists shouting abuse at the former Town star while he was at Portman Road.
The schoolchildren sat silently as East Anglian actor Michael Clarke also gave a powerful and harrowing monologue on his experiences on racism in the community.
And the Town trio answered a number of searching questions from the students before the prize giving.
The players signed commendation certificates for a large number of students who impressed the judges with their poetry and posters.
All the entries showed a clear understanding that racism is intolerable, causes deep distress and should be challenged.
And the youngsters showed an imaginative use of football imagery and language to convey the social message about anti-racism to the wider community.
The overall winner was Kirstie Mitchell, a year eight student at Worlingham Middle School, whose black and white poster could soon be shown in 25,000 schools nationwide if an initiative between Show Racism the Red Card and trade union Unison comes to fruition.
Joe Thorne and Colette Dickinson from Claydon High School read out their pieces of work and a video by Bethany Abbott and Hannah Crane from Sidegate Lane School was aired.
Artwork by Jordan Saggers, from Handford Hall County Primary School, and Luke Webster and Chris Davies was also among the winning entries.
All the winners were given shirts signed by Blues players.