FORMER England, Liverpool and star, Emile Heskey will be discussing the challenges he faced growing up in football at the forthcoming event, At the Grass Root of Racism, being held at his former club, Leicester City, at the King Power Stadium on October 21.
The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Football Forum (BFF), who recently released a report, #ITSNOTFAIR – Grassroots Experiences of Racism, is holding its first event next month and will give players, coaches, managers, parents and the public an opportunity to have further discussions on the important issue of racism in football.
Local lad Heskey is supportive of the event. he said: “I will always have a love for my hometown, whether it be Leicester City Football Club or the grassroots football clubs that continue to develop and provide opportunities to people that look like me.
“Recently I have been travelling up and down the country promoting my new book, but when asked by the BAME Football Forum to support an event to discuss the horrendous racial abuse that members of my community are still facing, I leapt at the opportunity.
“If by sharing my experiences in football means that I can give hope to others who are suffering discrimination, I am more than happy to do so.”
The Forum are calling for automatic action to be taken by local police to address any racial abuse by an adult directed at those under 18 years of age, greater transparency and a review of disciplinary rulings and procedures at a County FA level, and for the Leicestershire and Rutland County FA to share more information regarding the number of clubs and players charged each year for racist behaviour.
The event will see attendees from the semi professional and professional game, the local and national FA’s, universities, police and the Police Crime Commissioners, the local authority, national campaign groups and more.
Supporting the forum, Kirk Master who manages local youth teams from the city, said: “We must do more to tackle racism in football at all levels and I am grateful to the BFF for taking the lead on this issue and strengthening the voice of BAME footballers across Leicestershire”.
To find out more about the event or to book a place, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/at-the-grass-root-of-racism-tickets-67003542399