England men’s football team manager Gareth Southgate has urged for an end to white privilege in the sport as he brought out the lack of black coaches in the top-flight competitions in his country and across Europe.
Southgate’s comments have come in the wake of massive anti-racism protes after a black civilian, George Floyd, was choked to death by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States of America, in the last week of May.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, held Floyd down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe,” and “please, I can’t breathe”.
“I think Ashley Cole is developing very well and on a similar route to what Steven did – in that Steven worked in Liverpool’s academy for a couple of years. On a broader scale, we lack that representation. The biggest crime for us in any area, if we are adults looking at kids, is if they sit and think that a path in life isn’t possible. And is not accessible,” Goal.com quoted Southgate as saying.
“We have to avoid the feeling that you cannot achieve something because that stops some people going for it. We have to make sure the opportunity is there when people are qualified and capable. And then, of course, they have to grasp that opportunity. If they can do well, they’ll role model what’s possible to the next generation,” he added.
Southgate had started his career in management after becoming the head coach of Middlesbrough in 2006 after a celebrated playing career at the Teeside club, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace. He also has 54 international appearances for England under his name.
“I know that I got an opportunity at Middlesbrough when I wasn’t qualified. That came because I had worked at the club and the owner knew me. But I couldn’t say that opportunity would have been there for somebody else. And I think we are all very conscious of it,” Southgate said.
“The power of what is happening at the moment is that people are standing together and these observations, these deeper-seated issues are rightly leading to the broader debate on the opportunity, on privilege, and it’s important people speak out. I do feel there is a moment for change but I’m also conscious that we’ve been held before,” he added.