Rio Ferdinand, along with a plethora of other footballers, caused quite the stir last weekend when they refused to wear 'Kick It Out' t-shirts during the warmups of their respective matches. The general understanding is that these players feel that wearing these t-shirts was an empty gesture in the anti-racism cause, especially because recent events have arguably undermined it. Just minutes ago, Rio, along with brother Anton, released a joint statement on the issue:
It has been a year since the incident at Loftus Road. During that time, some of the deep divisions that exist in football have been exposed. In the coming months there will be ongoing discussions, we are sure, on finding a way forward. We intend to participate in these discussions, along with numerous other current and ex-professionals of all races, from the grass roots upwards, across the football community as a whole.
On the issue of Kick It Out, we would like to go on record to say what fantastic work they have done in the past regarding education and awareness. However, times change and organisations need to change with them. We are more than happy to join the discussion, privately, to make Kick It Out more relevant in its fight to stamp out racism in football.
Although we have been left disappointed by the PFA and the FA's actions over the last year, as a family, we are committed to working with football's existing organisations towards the betterment of the game and to achieve immediate action.
We would like to thank all the fans and the staff at Queens Park Rangers and Manchester United for their support in what has been a difficult year. In particular we want to thank Sir Alex Ferguson and Mark Hughes.
We will not be discussing publicly any issues connected with the case. We are now going to concentrate on playing football.
- Rio and Anton Ferdinand
Source: New Era Global Sports
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