Rangers captain James Tavernier called for an end to the ‘checkbox’ after Wednesday’s Scottish Federation summit on diversity and inclusion, saying every black player at the club has been the victim of racist abuse this season.
Clubs across Scotland gathered on Wednesday afternoon to discuss how Scottish football can tackle racism and discrimination.
It follows the alleged racist abuse of Glen Kamara during Rangers’ Europa League game against Slavia Prague on March 18. Slavia denies the allegations and says there has been “biased pressure on UEFA and police officials” during the ongoing investigations.
Tavernier was one of four Ranger representatives who attended the SFA meeting.
He described the discussion as a “useful exercise” but revealed the extent of the problem for black Ibrox players and stressed the importance of getting clear results rather than just ticking boxes from now on.
“It was a very useful exercise and it was nice to be able to make my point of view known to the rest of the clubs in the SPFL as well as the SFA,” he said in a statement.
“Every black player on our team has been the victim of racist abuse this season, either online or in the case of Glen Kamara, on the pitch. It is unacceptable and must stop.
“It is vital that football authorities, clubs, government agencies and social media companies work together to educate and empower in order to ultimately eradicate hatred from our game and society at large.
“We want to continue to engage, but we stressed that we need to see clear results from the discussions rather than just ticking a box.”
“Every black player on our team has been the victim of racist abuse this season, whether online or in the case of Glen Kamara, on the playing field. It is unacceptable and must stop.”
The Diversity and Inclusion Summit was hosted by the Scottish FA and Livingston captain Marvin Bartley, who is the SFA Equality Advisor alongside former Scotland international Leanne Ross.
Talk to Sky Sports News Following the meeting, Bartley commented on Tavernier’s statement, saying, “No one is held responsible for these racist comments, maybe a few years ago you thought if you said a racist comment, the police might knock on your door.
“It’s hurtful like James (Tavernier) said, every black player in the Rangers locker room went through it.”
Bartley: The first time we all shoot in the same direction
Bartley says the time for anti-racist gestures has passed following continued racist incidents and called for collective action by major football authorities and social media companies after a “positive” SFA summit.
Bartley added: “It was positive, it was the first meeting in my life where everyone was shooting in the same direction. The main topic was the action, that was the main word. We had the gestures of take a knee and we talked a lot of things, that time is now up, it’s time to act, that’s what we want.
“We want the social media companies and the fans to really participate and report what they see and hear when they come back to the stadiums. We’ve always been reactive to things, now we try to be proactive. I firmly believe. that this will happen. “
Bartley believes gestures such as taking a knee before games may have sparked a much needed conversation at the time, but have since lost their meaning as racist incidents continue to drag on.
“I have been an advocate for people who take a knee, but it stopped in the last two weeks after the Glen Kamara incident. It’s very difficult for me to go to the players and say to keep taking the knee, it’s not really a It was to spark conversation, it was never the end.
“The players are frustrated, there hasn’t been enough reprimand for those who make racist comments and mistreat people. We are united now.
“We are going collectively towards government rather than individual clubs. On top of that we have the whole FA, not just the Scottish FA, but also the English and Welsh associations.”
‘Boycott could hit social media companies financially’
Bartley also said he would be ready to join a boycott of social media companies after Thierry Henry made an impact by shutting down his accounts due to a lack of anti-racism and bullying regulations on their platforms. .
He added: “I am ready to try anything that can make a difference. There is strength in numbers, we can act as a collective.
“Not just the players, but anyone who is against racism. No matter what your job, if we all decide to leave these platforms it will hit them in the pocket.
“Until they’re financially affected they don’t really care. If we do it in numbers it can work, I have a lot of respect for Thierry Henry and him who uses his platform. the right way. “
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