Lord Ouseley recognises Lions' efforts
It is unfortunate that during a week when we are focusing on the ongoing battle to eradicate racism in all its forms from football, that sensationalist and ill-informed opinion, much of it finding voice within the media, is in danger of undermining the good work that is being done to tackle this important issue.
At Millwall, we take great exception to the following statement made by Independent columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who wrote the following on Sunday:
“The Kick It Out campaign has hit the rocks. Millwall fans and others too still behave like animals when they watch black players.”
We have to ask, what is the basis on which she makes such an inflammatory comment?
We will certainly be inviting Ms Alibhai-Brown along to a game at The Den so she can learn for herself what really goes on at this football club, and how black players are treated by our fans.
We have received the following from Lord Herman Ouseley, who writes in this Saturday’s match programme for the Huddersfield game, as we celebrate the lead that Kick It Out has given over many years in helping change attitudes and behaviour in our game.
“Millwall FC has had to live with a reputation for racism and thuggery since the 1970s, when such behaviour was rampant in football but, like many clubs during the past two decades, and with the help and support of Kick It Out, has demonstrated determination and commitment, through its positive actions, to make the experience of watching and playing football at the Den an enjoyable one.
Has Millwall got it all right? No!
Has Kick It Out got it all right? No!
Have the football authorities got it all right? No!
Is any club perfect in respect of equality and inclusion? No!
But a few have done more than most and are good exemplars and leaders on inclusion, equality and fair treatment for all. Arsenal is one such club. Aston Villa is another. But, I also know that Millwall has worked tirelessly to deal with all anti-social and unacceptable behavioural matters involving football at The Den…
“I look forward to my trips to The Den with a buzz of excitement because there are so many committed and dedicated people working there, who are determined to make Millwall a welcoming place for football players and fans. Their commitment to work with all groups of people from the local community is also excellent. However, they are not immune from those who still want to go there and abuse others, but Millwall will do what they can to get rid of them, and has proved their effectiveness in doing so over recent years.”