Former England international Ian Wright does not believe players should walk off the pitch during a match if they have been racially abused.
The ex-Arsenal striker, who is the Gunners’ second-highest goalscorer of all time behind Thierry Henry, thinks footballers are taking matters into their own hands because the small fines for clubs where the abuse has taken place are not an effective deterrent.
The 50-year-old told Sky Sports News: “You can’t have players walking off football pitches because they have been racially abused – they should still stay on the pitch. “The fact is, if we are going to keep seeing these ridiculous fines given to the clubs, then players are going to continue taking it into their own hands and that is not good for the game. ”Wright also admitted his surprise at statistics released by the Kick It Out campaign, with 50% of footballers they interviewed claiming to have witnessed or been the victim of racist abuse in a football stadium. A total of 200 current professional footballers (32% black and minority ethnic) from the Premier League (15%) and Football League (85%) took part in the anonymous survey between August and December 2013. Wright added: “When people release those statistics they always sound pretty bad, but I would like to know the content of the so-called racist abuse. “It’s news to me at the moment. The boys who are playing now might feel differently but I am not hearing it. ”
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