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Roberts to continue t-shirt protest

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25 Oct 2012 13:47:48

Roberts to continue t-shirt protest

Jason Roberts has again refused to wear a T-shirt in support of anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out this weekend but gave his tentative support to the Professional Footballers Association's six-point plan designed to eradicate the problem within the game.

Reading striker Roberts was one of a number of black players, which also included Anton and Rio Ferdinand, who boycotted the awareness campaign last weekend by opting not to wear the T-shirts in the warm-up before their respective Barclays Premier League matches.

Roberts is a Kick It Out ambassador, but has become dismayed at what he sees as the football authorities' perceived failure to come down hard on those found guilty of racism. For that reason he will not wear the shirt again on Saturday before Reading host Fulham.

"No, I won't (wear the shirt) - that's my own choice," the 34-year-old said. "If it was a T-shirt from another organisation I wouldn't have worn that either.

"This is not an attack on Kick It Out. I am passionate about the PFA and Kick It Out but they have to do better, we have to do better."

The PFA's six-point plan includes the possible implementation of the Rooney Rule - an initiative established in the United States which requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching positions.

Roberts thinks the rule is a good idea given the troubles football has had with racism recently.

"I think last year shone a light on the racism issue," Roberts said. "There are issues and solutions, like the Rooney Rule, and I think it's a step in the right direction. It is not everything that has been put forward. It's a start."

Roberts also gave his backing to the PFA's idea that any player who is found guilty of racism should be sacked, regardless of their worth.

He said: "I would agree with that point. You would think that something like that would already be written in.


PA

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