Pep Guardiola wants teams to walk off the pitch if players subject to racial abuse

Updated 29 March 2019

Pep Guardiola wants teams to walk off the pitch if players subject to racial abuse

  • City's Raheem Sterling just one of a number of England players subject to racial abuse during international in Montenegro.
  • Chelsea's Sarri also calls for tougher action in the face of racism from the stands.

LONDON: Pep Guardiola would consider taking his Manchester City players off the field in protest if any of his stars were the victims of racist abuse.
City star Raheem Sterling spoke out after he and a number of his England teammates were racially abused in an impressive 5-1 victory over Montenegro in Podgorica on Monday, calling for stadium bans.
Guardiola said society’s ills are to blame, but warned against the concerning rise of racist incidents at football games, including in England.
Sterling was also the subject of alleged racist abuse at Chelsea in December, while Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a banana skin thrown at him in the North London derby against Tottenham in the same month.
“I think in Europe it is, not in football, getting worse,” said Guardiola when asked about the issue. “I am a human being and it’s not nice.
Asked if City would walk off, Guardiola said: “We could do that, yeah.”
Guardiola was backed up in his call for teams to walk off the pitch by Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri. The Italian wants a new rule allowing matches to be halted if players are racially abused.
Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, like Sterling, was racially abused in Montenegro as well as during Chelsea’s Europa League match at Dynamo Kiev earlier in March.
And Sarri said: “”We need a rule I think, a rule for the Premier League, but for all the championships, for all of football. A rule that can permit us to stop the match.
“In every country there are some stupid people I think, so it’s a big problem,” he said.
“I think that we need to do something different, probably it’s right to stop the match for 10 minutes in the first situation.”


NBA star LeBron James opts out of wearing social justice message on Lakers jersey

Updated 12 July 2020

NBA star LeBron James opts out of wearing social justice message on Lakers jersey

  • ‘It is just something that didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal’
  • But Lakers star still working behind the scenes to improve the lives of others

LOS ANGELES: NBA superstar LeBron James said Saturday he would opt out of wearing a social justice message on the back of his jersey because it doesn’t “resonate with his mission.”
James, who has often spoken out against racism and police brutality in America, is passing on the NBA’s plan to help bring attention to racial inequality by having players wear messages like “I Can’t Breathe” instead of their family names.
“I didn’t go with a name on the back of my jersey,” the Los Angeles Lakers forward James said Saturday. “It was no disrespect to the list that was handed down to all the players.”
“I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It is just something that didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.”
James says he wishes he had had some input into the jersey change.
“I would have loved to have a say on what would have went on the back of the jersey. I had a couple of things in mind, but I wasn’t part of that process which is OK.”
“I don’t need to have something on the back of the jersey for people to understand my mission and what I’m about and what I am here to do.”
The vast majority of NBA players have decided to pick a social justice message when play resumes in Orlando, Florida.
James is one of just about 17 players out of 285 so far who have opted to continue using their family names on the back of their uniforms.
The list of suggested messages, agreed on by the players union and NBA owners and then made available to players, includes “I Can’t Breathe,” which is what George Floyd said more than 20 times before he died with a white police officer kneeling on his neck.
Other messages include: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.
James said even though he isn’t taking part in the jersey messages, he is still working behind the scenes to improve the lives of others, especially people in the Black community.
“Being able to use my platform, use the NBA’s platform, to continue to talk about what’s going on. Because I will not stop until I see real change for us in Black America, for African Americans, for people of color. And I also believe I can do both, though.”
James said he always expected to play in the restart to the season: “I am here for one goal and one goal only and that is to win a championship.”