Football Association chairman Greg Clarke resigned over the “unacceptable” language he used when referring to black players.
On Tuesday 10th, during a parliamentary meeting Mr Clarke referred too black players as”coloured” before a Digital, Culture, Media, Sport committee.
Gregg Clarke, 63, also referred to gay players making a “life choice” and a coach telling him young female players did not like having the ball hit hard at them.
Clarke said there were “a lot more South Asians than there are Afro-Caribbeans” in the FA’s IT department because “they have different career interests”. Since then the FA announced that Peter Mc Cormick has stepped into the role as Interim FA Chairman.
The now-former FA chairman had sought to lead the way on anti-discrimination, with the introduction of a new diversity code to kick-off the 2020s.
“With newly requiring 15% of new recruits for senior leadership roles to be black, Asian or of mixed heritage, with 30% to be female. In coaching in men’s professional football, the requirement is for 25% of recruits to be black, Asian or of mixed heritage, dropping to 10% in senior coaching roles.”
However since Covid-19 the FA has lost over £100m a month, and now they have lost a chairman.
Why is the term ‘coloured’ offensive?
The term ‘coloured’ is associated with Jim Crow laws in the South of the United States, from the 1870s until the 1960s. During these years, ‘coloured’ was associated with segregation via the Jim Crow laws, where black people were separated from white people via public transport, restaurants or at drinking fountains. Many were labelled as “coloured-only” for example.
In South Africa, the word ‘coloured” is used without offence, it refers to people who have multiple heritages. Language has power, whilst words are universal, they are not universally applied, they have content and meaning. The word became socially unacceptable in the UK around the 1960s and 1970s. Mr Clarke was a couple of years behind with his terminology, but he did not mean it in a derogatory context or with malice intended.
In the current climate, many words that were once acceptable are no longer acceptable, although ‘coloured’ is outdated we moved to the term “Black”. Black is a universal term, however, some people rather be called POC (people of colour) and even BAME. Then BAME as a term was lumping all minorities together people wanted a separate term. Language and race politics are becoming a theme park, but instead of us riding, we are being taken on a ride. What is good for the geese is not good for the gander. The way we use words has an altogether new meaning and what is okay to one group is not okay to another, even within that same group.
His comments were that of a dinosaur, but do I think he should have stepped down? no, he should have stepped up. He did by immediately apologising, some will argue stepping down is the way of stepping up as his time is over and its time for a new face to come in and be a FA chairman. At Clarke’s age he has done a lot of work to increase diversity, however, his poor choice of words, archaic views will overshadow all the good he has done.
Woke culture and cancel culture seem to afford no forgiveness, it is not in their currency. Malcolm X once said: “Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.”
Language within itself has become a trapdoor, anyone can fall through at any moment and no one is afforded a rope to pull themselves up, but rather the rope is provided for the individual to hang themselves with. People make mistakes. Clarke’s comments were unacceptable, but individuals are being pigeonholed into being perfect by today’s moral standards. How progressive is it when people are being made to resign? Seems more regressive to me.