‘Maybe we are alone’: Jude Bellingham questions whether authorities ‘care’ about racist abuse directed at Black footballers
Belfingham’s message comes as he takes on the role of honorary president at Everton’s Carndon Room, a club function centre which is the venue for the Premier League club’s annual awards lunch.
The former Manchester United defender also spoke out as he revealed how he was racially abused on the streets of England by a young man from the US who called him ‘Negro’, ‘Chink’ and ‘cunt’ while he played for Arsenal in the 1970s.
“I was called racial slurs on several occasions over the course of my 10 years of playing in England and also in the US,” he said.
“The thing is they were from a different world now but some of the racism, like the ones I’ve seen, are still with us and it’s not a race thing.
“Just because you look different or they might not understand the culture or understand our language doesn’t mean we’re racist… I think people have been let down by the authorities because the majority of people that are being abused are from a different culture.”
Belfingham also spoke about racism in the football industry after claiming he was racially abused by American supporters who chanted ‘we want our whites back’ during a game against Chelsea in 2010.
But he suggested that a lack of understanding among the authorities is to blame.
“Football can be one of those areas where people don’t really care,” he said. “It is a really, really important sport and if there is going to be a change at all, it has to come through the people in the sport and the authorities have to look after the players better.
“For a lot of players, it is just a job and they won’t change their way of life just to play in football and the authorities have to think about a lot of things. It seems there is a lack of understanding on some levels in the authorities about how they can make certain changes.”
Belfingham claims he had been racially abused on numerous occasions over the course of his 10 years of playing in England
He added: “The people who are abusing players, and there have been