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Jason Roberts won't support Kick It Out

PROTEST: Reading striker Jason Roberts said he did feel Kick It Out was tackling the issue of racism in football effectively

READING STRIKER Jason Roberts has said he will not wear a ‘Kick It Out’ T-shirt claiming the campaign has let black players down.

Kick It Out, originally set up in 1993 as Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football, is set to mark an annual week of action to challenge racism in football.

Players have traditionally worn branded shirts in a show of support.

But Roberts told the BBC he would “find it hard to after what has happened in the last year”, referring to a long list of racist incidents that has blighted the game.

Most recently, England U-21 player Danny Rose was subjected to monkey chants and had coins thrown at him during a match in Serbia.

The incident descended into chaos, with crowds storming the pitch.

Both sides have been charged UEFA, which has left many in the England squad disgusted.

Roberts added that other players were also considering a boycott of the shirts.

He said: "I'm totally committed to kicking racism out of football but when there's a movement I feel represents the issue in a 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'. People don't feel like they have been strong enough.

"Unless they're independent, unless they don't have to explain their actions to anyone then they won't be held accountable."

Kick It Out is funded by the Football Association (FA), the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and the Premier League.

His comments came on the same day Chelsea captain John Terry decided against appealing a charge that he racially abused Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League game on October 23, 2011.

The defender was cleared by a jury, but the FA later found him guilty and banned him from four matches with a fine of £220,000.

Liverpool strike Luis Suarez received an eight-match ban and fined £40,000 for a similar offence against Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a game on October 15, 2011.

Lord Ousely, chairman of Kick It Out, said he understood Roberts's "frustrations".

"If Kick It Out had the power to sort this out then we would have done. Sorry Jason, we don't have that kind of power," he told the BBC.

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