|Job||FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board|
|Club as Player||Chelsea FC|
2020 03 09 Retrieve
[Former Chelsea defender Paul Elliott has empathised with Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier after seeing him go into the crowd to confront a fan who had been arguing with his brother] All I can say is, I have played in three different countries and I have experienced racism. I have had an Eric Dier moment in my head every time I have played. I have seen banana throwing, monkey chanting, booing and your family getting abused. With Eric Dier, I can understand the human context of that because he wanted to protect his family. I felt exactly the same way when my family was watching me in Italy, watching me in Scotland and the ugly days in the UK. We all feel the same way. We want our families to enjoy the day and watch us play with great pride and joy.
So, I am wholly empathetic with Eric. I don’t know him and I have never met him but I am empathetic with him. [What you get paid] has got nothing to do with it. When you go on that pitch, you don’t sign up to get abused. You sign up to compete and you sign up in the laws of the association to play football. We have to talk about zero tolerance with supporter behaviour as well. There may be a fine line but it is important people play within the rules.
[He believes football clubs are battling against a general political atmosphere that sees racism on the increase] Chelsea are magnificent. I support Bruce Buck on his work that he does with Antisemitism. It shows best practice. No question about it. It is the best such campaign in London football
You and I know we are in a challenging time. I have always said when you have racism in society, then you are going to have it in football. But football is doing some really good work, in my view, the clubs and players don’t get enough recognition for the work they do.
Everybody wants to look at the one negative but behind that negative, there’s 100s of great causes that the clubs support. Corporate social responsibility underpins every club. It isn’t the sexiest thing that gets the acclaim and you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
That’s why these events are important because you put that alongside the star-studded stuff like Tammy Abraham winning the best London Footballer. In these hardened challenging times, it is the power of football to deliver messages on anti-discrimination, equality, diversity and inclusion
2020 05 09 Retrieve
[Can football ever be free of racism?] We are in a challenging time. I have always said when you have racism in society, then you are going to have it in football. But football is doing some really good work. In my view, the clubs and players don’t get enough recognition for the work they do. Everybody wants to look at the one negative but behind that negative, there’s hundreds of great causes that the clubs support. Social responsibility underpins every club. It isn’t the sexiest thing that gets the acclaim, and you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t
2020 07 10 Retrieve
[Paul Elliott says extreme adversity has created a ‘window of opportunity’ for football to increase diversity at all levels] We’ve had a fantastic response from senior leaders across the game, including owners, chairs, players and coaches. Today’s meeting was a great kick-off to the three-month programme and, with October marking Black History Month, it feels like the right time to launch the code. While it’s still early in development, it’s clear that everybody is pulling in the same direction and there is a strong will from the group to create positive action and make meaningful change. Together with leaders from across the industry we are hoping to drive the nation’s response to inequality by ensuring the leadership of our national sport reflects the communities that watch and love the game