James Tavernier calls on football world to work together to eradicate racism

Rangers skipper James Tavernier has welcomed Scottish football’s show of unity in combatting racism – but warned the Hampden summit must not become another box-ticking exercise.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 5:54 pm

Scotland’s clubs were invited to a meeting aimed at tackling the rise in discriminatory abuse following the alleged race storm involving Gers midfielder Glen Kamara

The Finland midfielder claims he was called a “f****** monkey” by Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela in the Europa League.

Tavernier led the Ibrox delegation to the summit, organised by the Scottish Football Association, and while he was pleased, he stressed it must not become another meaningless gesture.

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Rangers captain James Tavernier. Pic by PA

The Light Blues captain told the club’s website: “This was a very useful exercise and it was pleasing to be able to air my views to the rest of the clubs in the SPFL as well as the SFA.

“Every black player in our squad had been the victim of racist abuse this season, either online or in the case of Glen Kamara, on the field of play. This is unacceptable and must stop.

“It is vital that football authorities, clubs, government bodies and social media companies work together to educate and empower to ultimately, eradicate hatred from our game and society in general.

“We are keen to continue to engage but highlighted that we need to see clear outcomes from discussions rather than simply ticking a box.”

Celtic also attended the event, with Parkhead chief executive Peter Lawwell adding: “Unfortunately, across many years, numerous Celtic players and staff have been subjected to various forms of racism and discrimination.

“Whether it relates to Celtic or any other club, it is time it stopped. Racism or any other form of discrimination should have no place in football or society and we need to do all we can to eradicate such prejudice.

“As a club open to all since 1888 we will continue to do all we can to promote this hugely important message and we look forward to working with other clubs and the wider football authorities to tackle this issue.”

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