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Clarke Carlisle calls out Rio Ferdinand over Kick It Out

EXPLAIN YOURSELF: Rio Ferdinand, left, has not told Clarke Carlisle why he did not wear a Kick It Out T-shirt last year

PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLERS’ Association chairman Clarke Carlisle has ripped into Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand over remaining silent on why he chose not to support an anti-racism campaign last year.

Ferdinand, brother of Anton Ferdinand who was racially abused by John Terry in October 2011, refused to wear a Kick It Out T-shirt after the Chelsea captain was punished with a four-match ban for calling his younger sibling a “black c**t”.

Several other high-profile black footballers, including Jason Roberts and Joleon Lescott also boycotted the campaigning group’s T-shirt initiative.

Carlisle’s criticism over the debacle that showed utter disunity among players and anti-racism activists has only become public since the release of his new autobiography You Don’t Know Me, But… A Footballer’s Life, which expresses his bitter disappointment with Ferdinand.

In extracts published in the Daily Mail, he said: “Kick It Out is one of few bodies doing something positive about the issue, but there are some who evidently feel it is not doing enough.

“Rio and Anton Ferdinand were among a group of high-profile abstainers along with Joleon Lescott, who has not worn one since Newcastle's Turkish midfielder Emre was cleared of racially abusing his Everton team-mate Joseph Yobo, and Jason Roberts.

“At least Jason was vocal about his reasons. I don't mind people disagreeing but at least say why.”

Roberts made his feelings known at the time, telling the media he did not wear a T-shirt because of lenient sanctions handed to Terry and Luis Suarez, who was banned 10 games for racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011.

Carlisle added: “Jason apart, the Premier League 'big' players happily throw in a grenade but do nothing when it explodes, nothing other than appear to hide behind their advisers.

“That's because they are s***houses. They have made their 'statement' for all to see but how many are prepared to stand in front of the cameras and be counted?

“The impression conveyed is that I have failed (as PFA chairman) to get people to unite and support the cause. Not only that, I feel under attack from a group of players questioning my position and representation of them on the issue. This has really hurt me.”

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