Football is still 'institutionally racist', QPR technical director Chris Ramsey tells The Debate
Last Updated: 05/12/17 10:46am
QPR technical director Chris Ramsey has said "institutional racism" remains a problem in football during discussions about the shortage of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) coaches on The Debate.
More than 25 per cent of professional footballers at English and Welsh clubs are from diverse backgrounds but across the leagues there are only a handful of BAME managers.
The discussion on The Debate comes after campaigners renewed calls last week for English football to adopt the 'Rooney Rule', a current NFL policy that requires the league's 32 teams to interview BAME candidates for head coaching and senior operation roles.
Ramsey, who managed QPR in 2015, believes it's important that BAME coaches are given a "fair crack" for potential openings.
"We know the balance needs to be addressed at some stage," Ramsey said. "Unfortunately for us, there has been some institutionalised racism. Everybody can see there's a problem, it's important that somehow, people do get a shot and getting a fair crack at the whip, and it's long overdue."
When asked if there has been institutional racism, or if there still is, Ramsey replied: "There is. We tend to think that it's something which has gone away, and fortunately we do have some good people in and around the game, but those people don't realise that their integrity is not the same as the people who are holding the key to the door for minorities to get in.
"We tend to have a situation where people use PC language but have racist or discriminative behaviour. I'm sure most of us would rather have the racist language but non-discriminative behaviour, because we don't care what people's views are in their heart and in their mind, what we do care about is their actions.
"The whole fabric of the game has a lot of discrimination. I'm not saying it hasn't improved, I started back in the 70s, so it has improved a lot and there has been a lot of good organisations that have tried to address the situation, but it's far from good."
Former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough George Boateng also weighed in on the discussion, claiming BAME coaches have "given up" after missing out on opportunities.
"My take is also different. I think a lot of it comes from the fact that so many black coaches have been disappointed over the years, so they've given up, and if you look at when a job becomes available, the people that can apply for the jobs, out of 100 there are probably 99 who are English, British or white," Boateng said.
"How you can improve it is that we can't give up. A lot of coaches have to start at youth level, like Chris, go to academy level, prove yourself and work your way up. That's how I see it.
"But I do agree with Chris, there are some clubs - not everywhere - that have a discrepancy in terms of putting a black coach in front."
Meanwhile, ex-Charlton and West Ham manager Alan Curbishley insisted the BAME coaches need an incentive to carry on in the game.
"Former black players who want to go into management need to have the incentive that they are going to have a chance," Curbishley said.
"If they're going to dedicate themselves and get the badges, there has to be some hope that there will be an opportunity to even get on that interview.
"I think awareness is slowly changing. People like Chris Hughton have been fantastic role models, and for owners coming into the Premier League and Championship have a different outlook, so that may help.
"To give a BAME person an opportunity to be a manager or a coach in England, there has to be something radically changed. And is it the Rooney Rule? Something has got to give."
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