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John Barnes gives racism lecture

Ex-LFC star says it will never be stamped out of football

Written by . Published on May 11th 2012.


John Barnes gives racism lecture

THE former Liverpool player, John Barnes, will give a lecture at the University of Liverpool about racism in football next week. 

He will examine the initiatives that have been introduced to tackle the issue, and discuss whether or not they have been successful.

If I had played for Everton against
Liverpool then maybe the Liverpool
fans would haveracially abused me'

Earlier this year, Barnes, who endured racism throughout his illustrious career, took part in an Anti Racism Football Summit at Downing Street which looked at racism in football.  A supporter of legislation to clear up the "ambiguity" over what is considered discrimination, he believes that racism will never be eradicated from football as long as it exists in society. 

He said in an interview at the time: “White players always said to me: ‘You can call me ‘a white so and so’, I don’t mind’. But that’s because society has indoctrinated us over the past 400 years to think that that’s like saying ‘you handsome so and so’. That’s why white players aren’t offended. They’re empowered. Black people aren’t empowered; 99 per cent of black individuals would be offended being called ‘a black so and so’ because we’ve had 400 years of being dehumanised."

John Barnes began his football career in 1984 at Watford FC before moving to Liverpool in 1987, where he stayed until 1997, winning the league twice, the FA Cup twice and scoring 108 goals.  He went on to join his former team mate and manager, Kenny Dalglish, at Newcastle before retiring in 1999.  His career for England spanned 79 games and included 11 goals. And he recorded the rap in New Order's World In Motion (possibly the coolest football song ever - ed).

The Infamous Goodison IncidentThe Infamous Goodison Incident

In the same interview, Barnes, 48, recalled the famous incident when, as a Liverpool player, he was targeted by Everton fans at Goodison, saying it was nothing unique.

“I had bananas thrown at me and monkey chants at West Ham and Millwall, five years before that Everton game, but because it was a high-profile match everyone took notice. It had been going on for ages. There wasn’t a game in the Eighties when you didn’t get racial abuse as a black player. I got racist abuse at Liverpool when I played for Watford. Then I played for Liverpool and didn’t get it. If I had played for Everton against Liverpool then maybe the Liverpool fans would have racially abused me.

“We are all racist to a certain extent."

The University of Liverpool’s Management School recently signed a partnership with the Football Association (FA) to deliver football-related education programmes, representing the first partnership between a higher education institute and the FA.  

FA Learning, the educational arm of the FA, will help deliver courses such as the University’s Football Industries MBA (FIMBA) which was established in 1997 and is the first of its kind in the world.  The FIMBA provides the business focus that management positions in modern sport demand and meets the rapidly expanding worldwide interest in the professionalisation, business and marketing of football.

The lecture will take place on Thursday, 17 May 2012 in the Sherrington Building at 5.30pm. Tickets are free but booking is essential, from here or call 0151 794 6986 for further information.

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