Greg Clarke resigned as president of the Football Association Law Association hours after he made a haphazard presentation to lawmakers, referring to “colored footballers” and “Asians working in IT”.
Clarke, who resigned as Britain’s FIFA vice-president, also suggested that coming out as gay was a “life choice” and claimed to lack a female goalkeeper because young women do not like to kick the ball. On them.
Clarke’s remarks were condemned by Kick It Out chairman Sanjay Bhandari as an “old” and “lazy racist attitude”, a “big step” towards greater diversity within football.
“As a person who loves football and has served in our sport for decades, it is OK that I put the interests of football first,” Clarke said in a statement.
“2020 has been a challenging year and I have been actively considering it for some time to pave the way for a new presidency. Now our CEO transition is complete and excellent executive leadership has been established under the leadership of Mark Bullingham.
“My unacceptable words against Parliament are for our game and it sees, plays, referees and manages. My resolve to move beyond this has been crystallized.
I am deeply saddened that I have offended those different communities in football in which I and others have worked so hard to get involved.
“I thank my friends and colleagues at the game for the wisdom and advice they have shared over the years and resign from the FA with immediate effect.”
The FA said in a statement: “We can confirm that Greg Clarke has resigned from his position as President.
“Peter McCormick will take over as interim FA chairman with immediate effect and the FA board will begin the process of identifying and appointing a new chair in due course.”
After apologizing for using the term “colored footballers” during the hearing, he understood that Clarke had spoken to FA board members for support, but resigned with the feeling that he was not there.
The 63-year-old appeared before a selection committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to question his influential role in recent project Big Picture proposals, but also faced questions about the work he was doing. Board of Governors regarding women’s football and diversity within the game.
In response to a question about gay players coming out of trouble, Clarke tried to refer to social media abuse that has happened on other occasions.
He said: “I do not know the answer. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people in the LGBT community, people from other sports who have come out and the opinions I’ve heard if I’ve seen what happened to high profile female footballers, high-profile colored footballers, and the abuse they’ve had on social media. Have taken. It’s free for all.
“People can see if you’re black and if they don’t like black people because they are dirty racists, they will abuse you anonymously.
“They can see you’re a woman, some high-profile black, female footballers are abusively abused, grossly abused.
“I haven’t spoken directly to gay footballers, because I haven’t been able to find anyone to meet me, but I do talk to others around the game and they say why would you voluntarily sign up for this abuse?”
Prior to the comment, Clarke Bame questioned the “different career interests” of the communities, adding: “If you go to the IT department at the FA, there are a lot more South Asians than Afro-Caribbean people. They have different career interests.”
He also referred to his partner’s process of coming out as gay as a “life choice”.
The remarks were immediately condemned by Bhandari, who presided over an anti-racism group that has been running racist equality within football for nearly 30 years.
“The use of their old language to describe blacks and Asians as‘ colored ’is decades old and should be tied to the dustbin of history. Homosexuality is not life, as he also claimed, ”said Bhandari.
“I was particularly concerned about South Asians by their lazy racist practices and their perceived career preferences … that kind of attitude may partly explain why South Asians are statistically the least ethnic minority on the pitch.
“These comments show that more needs to be done to challenge the trend. For all the steps taken recently, the comments expressed today are a big step backwards. ”
When asked by MP Kevin Brennan whether Clarke apologized for wanting to withdraw his comment, he pointed out that the language of his choice justified the custom and welcome approach that he had so long taken pride in.
“If I said that, I deeply apologize for that,” Clark said. Clark said. “I am a product of working abroad, I worked in the USA for many years where I needed to use the term‘ people of color ’because it was a product of their diversity laws and a constitution of positive discrimination.
“Sometimes I travel on my words and I apologize.”
The FAA added in a statement: “Greg Clark apologizes for the language he used to refer to members of the ethnic minority community during today’s select committee hearing.
“He acknowledged that it was not appropriate to use the word ‘colored’ and sincerely apologized during the hearing.”
However, his remarks were taken by Julian Knight, MP, chair of the DCMS selection committee, who highlighted the fact that the incident happened three years after Clarke called concerns about institutional racism in the FA a “fluff.”
“It is true that Greg Clarke apologized to the committee, however, this is not the first time that the FA has expressed grief over these issues. It calls us into question his commitment to diversity.”
“The question is really: is there anyone like Mr. Clarke who has used such unfortunate sentences and used unfortunate sentences in the past and has slapped on some of these issues when he is the right person to take the FA forward. To work with these issues. “
Former Premier League defender Anton Ferdinand, who wrote: “I appreciate that the FA is doing some good work with their diversification campaign, but it is important that President Greg Clarke does not accept using the term ‘colored footballers’ to refer to people of race It is clear that education is needed at all levels. “
Former England internationals Stan Colimore and Darren Bent were also among those who criticized his remarks.
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