Football United

The power of the voice of the people is incredible.

Sometimes I ask myself why do people still see colour. Why do they treat people differently just because of the way nature created them. We’ve been hurt. We have cried. We have tried whatever it takes to change people’s mindset, and how they perceive and treat people that have a different skin tone. 

I am a Chelsea fan and that will never change, but the comments made towards Sterling at the weekend by those fans are never acceptable. I understand that as a fan you are passionate and want your team to win, and the heat of the moment can be intense, but isn’t the person you’re shouting abuse at the same player that scores for your country, and makes you jump up and down in celebration as you feel unified with your nation.

Will you be the guy that will say “I cannot be racist, I have a black neighbour.”

Come on now, this has to stop. 

I have come across racism many times in Holland and I think it can be easy to relate to wherever you are in the world. I remember when I would be playing well and read in the paper ‘Dutch Player Mario Melchiot…’ and then when I played bad they would say ‘the Dutch player with a Suriname background…’

After a while the journalists would get upset because we would not want to give them the time of day, and snub them for interviews. Then they would retaliate by purposely writing more bad things about you. The only sad thing was when I was playing in Holland it could hurt me because the readers would believe the stories, but when I moved to the UK the story changed because the club would not force us to talk with the press like they did in Holland. 

At Ajax and in the national team we had to talk to even the ones that would write bad things, just to get a headline for the people in the streets to talk about. There is a similar thing happening now with the likes of Raheem Sterling and other black players in the UK press.

A child’s skin colour is natural, but racism is not a natural part of anyone’s DNA. It’s constructed by the media and the voice of the people. The press have to take responsibility for how they treat players, making sure it is equal regardless of race, gender or anything else. If they don’t change it might be time for clubs to take a stand together, and stop giving access to the offending journalists. #mmlove