Troy Deeney: Birmingham City forward says progress in tackling racism has not been enough to stop kneeling | Football news
Troy Deeney says he hasn’t seen enough progress in the fight against racism to justify him stopping kneeling.
The Birmingham City forward was influential in supporting the Premier League’s Black Lives Matter ahead of the 2019-20 season resumed – during his tenure as Watford captain – when the players began to show their solidarity in the combats racial injustice by kneeling before games.
However, a number of players have since stopped making the anti-racist gesture, leading to a debate over whether he has lost his impact, with Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha saying earlier this year that he was “degrading”.
Talk to Sky Sports NewsDeeney explained why he continued to support the token act: “Because it always creates conversation. Nothing has significantly advanced where I think we need to stop doing this.
“I heard that there had been small changes but to continue the movement for equality that we have, not just with racism but with all forms of discrimination.
“I think it’s a gesture that doesn’t offend anyone and keeps the conversation going… why should I stop now when I haven’t seen enough to suggest a change is evident.”
Racist abuse against footballers on social media has since remained widespread, with England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all targeted following the loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final in July.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, Hungary were ordered to play two closed-door matches by FIFA following the racism England players suffered in the World Cup qualifiers in Budapest on 2 September.
Deeney called for tougher penalties for hate crime in football and said organizations should take the issue as seriously as swift opposition to the European Super League proposal.
“All the bans and fines right now are subjective for a panel that we don’t really hear about or know who is making this decision,” he added.
“If the fans were racist and overtly racist, in my opinion it should be at least a three-year ban on all courts – not just at home games so they can go to away games and do it.
“From a pitch perspective, maybe six games and a £ 200,000 fine.
“In addition, they must follow educational programs but they must be filmed [in order to] show what is really going on.
“There is no point in me saying ‘Let’s go to an educational program’ but nobody knows what or who is conveying this message.”
Deeney revealed last week that he reported “30-40” abusive posts to social media platforms every day and wanted to see an identification process introduced to further empower users.
When asked why society has regressed on racism, the 33-year-old said: “Lack of accountability on social media.
“There is nothing else in this world that you could abuse someone, delete that account and open a new one and do the exact same thing without any repercussions.
“The fact that there is no login process to have a social media account scares me. We are now in a situation where people are frustrated, angry with a multitude of things that are going on. in the world and it’s pouring out onto the players because we make it take a toll on a lot of things.
“We are in a privileged position, we know that, but we also face a lot of frustrations. Players end up taking the brunt of some things that they haven’t even done.”
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