Graeme Souness Says He's 'Angry At Himself' For Not Challenging Boardroom Racism
Graeme Souness told Sky Sports that he wished he would have spoken out against racism in a football boardroom and was 'angry at himself,' for not doing so.
Monday night's Premier League game between Manchester City and Burnley provided further proof that the Black Lives Matter campaign is as important in England as it is in America as a group flew a 'White Lives Matter' banner over the Etihad Stadium whilst the player's took the knee.
Post match racism in football was the topic of conversation in the Sky Sports studio, especially after Burnley captain Ben Mee spoke so well against the banner.
Former Blackburn Rovers manager Souness had previously spoken on the Football Show about only witnessing racism twice during his career, both at board level, and reiterated that, saying he 'hated himself' for not challenging it.
On Twitter football fans praised the 67-year-old for his honesty with @jezsquires saying, "Interesting and brave honesty from Souness. Genuinely ashamed of his inaction at the time. Asking what he needs to do to change. Great stuff. Something we should all ask ourselves.
@lilesme added, "Coming from a Scottish man of a different generation, am impressed with Graeme Souness! Never thought I'd praise a Rangers man either!! Your honesty needs to hit home to others ."
Journalist James Melville said, "A wonderful speech of raw honesty from Graeme Souness. With real emotion he calls himself out over not standing up to racists within football and then asks himself how he can do more to campaign against racism."
And Sky Sports presenter Georgie Bingham also praised her colleague saying, "I like Graeme Souness's honesty on his recent enlightenment with gay pride and his experience with racism. I find him v compelling. He's the demographic/generation that find it hardest to change and he's prepared to. I like that."
However others also pointed to Souness' previous remarks about Manchester United's Paul Pogba, with many believing the former Liverpool player's criticisms of the Frenchman are, at least partially, steeped in racism.
The criticism of the former Juventus player's workrate as well as getting angry at his use of social media or getting a haircut often seem harsh and covered in stereotype, whilst other players don't receive his wrath for similar incidents.
The Athletic's Carl Anka said, "Souness wants to ask what he can do to be "more part of the cause". He could start by giving Paul Pogba a ring."
@_Sam_MUFC_ added, "If you listen to Souness after ever game he watches Pogba there is a clear agenda there. I admit at times Pogba deserves criticism but Souness clearly has an agenda against him. Even when Pogba has been the best player on the pitch Souness still criticises him."
Presenter Rants n Bants said, "I ain't forgiven Piers for his Meghan agenda that was clearly steeped in racism even though he's singing the right songs now & Souness can do one as well. Real ones know what his Pogba agenda is about. Easy to say the right thing when everyone else is saying it!"
Hopefully Souness in sincere when he says he wants to change and do better and considers what he says in future about the likes of Pogba and Moise Kean.
The 'White Lives Matter' banner was another embarrassing moment for football, the likes of Mee and Souness speaking out against it will certainly help.
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