May 26, 2010

PFA takes a stand over Wayne Brown’s BNP revelations

For this to come from within a dressing room is very disappointing, says Bobby Barnes

Leicester player Wayne Brown’s admission that he voted for the British National Party at the General Election has angered teammates, including PFA chairman Chris Powell, and fellow professionals – and has come as a major disappointment to the Professional Footballers’ Association.

The PFA has worked hard for many years with a number of anti-racism bodies to try and eradicate racism from our sport, at all levels, and according to Deputy Chief Executive Bobby Banes, Brown’s comments have ‘set the movement back’.

Brown, whose announcement caused angry scenes within the Leicester dressing room, was told to stay away from the club after reporting for duty before Leicester’s play-off semi final clashes with Cardiff, and was urged to make a public apology.

The player’s future is now shrouded in doubt and when asked whether it would be hard for Brown to stay at Leicester, or even find a new club, Bobby Barnes said: “I would like to think so. We have a zero tolerance policy on issues like this. Football has worked hard over the years to really be a beacon in the fight against racism and it is very discouraging to hear these comments when you think of the tireless work so many people, and so many organisations, have put in to get to where we are today.

“In my day as a player you had to contend with racist comments coming from the terraces, so for this to come from within a dressing room is very, very disappointing and our members are angry that Wayne Brown was not prepared to abide by our mission statement.”

To listen to what else the PFA Deputy Chief Executive had to say, click here.

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