Lord Herman Ouseley has been a beacon for social justice, says FARE chief Piara Powar
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 13/12/18 5:31pm
Kick It Out face a mammoth task in replacing outgoing chairman Lord Herman Ouseley, according to fellow anti-racism campaigner Piara Powar.
Former Campaign for Racial Equality chair Ousleley announced on Tuesday he will step down from his role at inclusion campaign Kick It Out at the end of the season, almost 26 years after he founded the organisation.
Powar was one of the first permanent members of staff recruited by Ouseley at Kick It Out, and was appointed executive director of the Europe-wide FARE network anti-discrimination organisation back in 2010
"It was probably 20 years ago when I started working with him and it was an incredible privilege," Powar said.
"You learn so much about the way in which you can use your own voice, the way in which your leadership presence can impact on people, the techniques of creating change.
"He's been one of the defining figures who's been fighting for social justice in public life for a very long time. He's been a shining light.
"He's been somebody many of us looked up to. He's been an exemplary leader and I think he will be a big loss. I think Kick It Out will have to evaluate its governance model and how it seeks to replace him. It's going to be very, very difficult."
The issue of race in football has been brought sharply into focus following the alleged racial abuse of Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge last Saturday, which has led to the suspension of four supporters, pending investigations.
And Powar praised the Jamaica-born England international for sparking a debate that has become the biggest talking point in English football this week.
"What's really striking is the way in which Raheem Sterling has managed to put something out there which is both thoughtful and enlightening for people," Powar said. "I think that's very powerful.
"What's happened too many times in the past, I think, is that players downplay the incident. They don't want to be seen as a victim, so they either don't talk about it, or it's seen as something that just happens.
"Raheem Sterling has acknowledged that it happened and then set out some reasons for it and started off a debate."