Gary Neville says he's 'ashamed' he didn't fight harder against racism when he was a player
Gary Neville also said that words are not enough to combat racism in football and bigger steps needed to be taken
Former England international Gary Neville says words are not enough to combat racism in football and that he is “ashamed” he did not fight harder against it when he was a player.
The former Manchester United defender made the comments in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
“Forget campaigns. Forget words. It has to be actions,” Neville said ahead of the Premier League’s restart on Wednesday following a three-month stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to take a giant leap rather than minute steps each year.
“I’m not going to hide away from it. We need education, we need protocols and processes in place which basically reverse what’s been happening in our country.”
Neville said he should have fought harder against racism during his playing days.
“The reality is we put racial abuse in the same category as the abuse we would receive for playing for Manchester United or England. We didn’t think. We just got on with it,” the 45-year-old said.
“It’s appalling and I’m ashamed of the fact for someone who ... fought for players’ rights at nearly every level, I didn’t fight hard enough on this.”
The former Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain player's advisers told the club his training boycott would continue until his outstanding salary was paid, Belmonte revealed.
The body vowed to take action against fans who "entered the field, threw flares and cups" but insisted any "disruptors" were in the minority and, in a statement, did not refer to the racist abuse.
Gareth Southgate's men are still four points clear of second-placed Albania, who thumped San Marino 5-0 in Tirana.