“It’s slowly creeping in a bit more now”: Viv Anderson claims racism has made its way back to football as England’s first black senior player labels current fines “pathetic” and calls on former pros like Ian Wright to do more to fight the problem
- He was the first black player to be covered by England in 1978 at a high level
- Viv Anderson used the abuse Raheem Sterling suffered last season as evidence
- The 63-year-old called for more black people at the top of the game
- The former defender was a European Cup winner with Nottingham Forest
- Anderson also represented Arsenal and Manchester United in his club career
England’s first black senior footballer, Viv Anderson, says that racism finds its way back into the sport and that fines handed out if fans are caught abusing are labeled as “pitiful”.
Anderson was the first black player to be covered by England in 1978 at a high level and represented Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Manchester United in a 21-year club career.
The 63-year-old also claimed that fellow high-profile former professionals like Ian Wright have not done enough to support black players and remove racism from the game.
England’s first black senior player, Viv Anderson, says racism is returning in football
Anderson was the first black player to be covered by England in 1978 at a high level
Anderson – who recalled throwing bananas, apples, and pears on the field during his early career – expressed concern that players are facing racism more than ever.
To speak on the Saga podcastAnderson said, “I am concerned. I’m looking at the Raheem Sterling thing – he was going to get a ball and then he was racially abused by someone – and it went on for weeks and weeks.
“It is slowly creeping in more than ever before. I think the fines are ridiculous. When the English team goes abroad, it is more common there, and I think the fines are pathetic.
“If you said to one of the associations ‘the fine is £ 6 million,’ I think they would get people out of that stadium very quickly. They wouldn’t be welcome.
Anderson also claimed that former professionals like Ian Wright should do more to fight racism
“I think the fines should be more severe. You have to make a point that it is not acceptable in 2020.
“I went to the FA, I said ‘you have to get these people involved, the people who have been there, seen it, got the T-shirt,'” he continued.
All of these people like Ian Wright are not involved in football – they have done things on television, but they are not involved in helping the next generation of footballers and black footballers.
“These people have a lot of experience playing at the top level, winning things, playing for England – they should pass on their experience to these kids, but no one is doing anything about it.”
Anderson used the abuse Raheem Sterling received last season as an example of racism
Anderson, who won the league title and the European Cup in Nottingham Forest, also said there should be more black people at the top.
“I’m going back to when I was a manager 20 or 30 years ago. Keith Alexander was the first black professional manager, I literally followed him weeks later.
“I remember the headlines in the newspaper -” this is the beginning of the new generation. ” We are going 30 years on, I think we only have two prominent black managers there.
“Something has to be given. Nothing has changed in 30 odd years. ‘
The European Cup winner also called for more black people at the top of the game