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FA Chairman Greg Clarke under pressure to resign after DCMS grilling car accident


Clarke's most shocking comments from today's hearing

Football Association Chairman Greg Clarke has come under fire over a series of comments he made at a committee hearing before a group of MPs on Tuesday.

Clarke appeared to be turning to a range of racist and sexist stereotypes, including suggesting that being gay was a "life choice" – although it is unclear whether he was referring to the decision to "get out."

Here are some of the quotes that have sparked a backlash on social media – some of which have already led to an embarrassing apology.

CLARKE ON RACE

"When I look at what happens to high-profile female soccer players, high-profile black female footballers and the abuse they suffer on social media … Social media is free for everyone."

CLARKE ON RACE II

“If you go to the FA's IT department, there are a lot more South Asians than Afro-Caribbean. They have different professional interests. & # 39;

CLARKE ON SEXUALITY

"The real problem is, if you are going out in front of 60,000 people and you decided on Monday that you want to reveal your sexuality – and I would never press anyone to reveal their sexuality – what I want to do is know someone who does this runs onto the field and says, “I'm gay. I am proud of it and happy. It's a life choice, and I made it because my life is a better place. I would love to believe and I believe that they would have the support of their friends in the locker room.

CLARKE ON WOMEN

"I spoke to a coach – and I'm not sure if that's true – and said," What's the problem with goalkeepers in women's games? “She said,“ Young girls, when they take up the game (at the age of six, seven, eight) they just don't like it when the ball kicks them hard. ”They'd rather kick it than kick them. We need to understand that we need to look for different ways to get women into the position of goalkeeper. & # 39;

FA Chairman Greg Clarke has resigned after a disastrous parliamentary appearance in which he spoke of "colored footballers" to a number of other offensive gaffes.

When Clarke testified via video link to the Select Committee of the Department of Culture, Media and Sports, he voiced several offensive stereotypes, claiming that South Asians and Afro-Caribbean people have "different career interests" due to the makeup of the FAs IT department, as well as homosexuality as " Life decision "to describe.

Clarke apologized shortly after being asked to do so by Kevin Brennan MP, which was later expanded upon by an FA spokesman.

However, that was not enough to alleviate the anger and embarrassment of the Wembley staff and it is believed that he resigned this afternoon.

The 63-year-old also personally apologized to the FA's BAME staff.

In a statement, the FA said: “We can confirm that Greg Clarke has stepped down from his role as our Chairman. Peter McCormick will take over the role of Interim FA Chair with immediate effect and the FA Board will begin identifying and appointing a new Chair in due course. & # 39;

Clarke released his own statement apologizing for the gaffes, adding, "I am deeply saddened to have insulted these various communities in football that I and others have worked so hard to involve."

His full explanation, however, indicated that the afternoon's events merely reinforced a wish that he already had to continue.

It read: “As a person who loves football and has served our game for decades, it is right that I put the interests of football first.

& # 39; 2020 has been a challenging year and I have actively considered stepping down for some time to make way for a new chair. Now our CEO transition is complete and an excellent management team under Mark Bullingham is in place.

“My unacceptable words in front of Parliament were of a disservice to our game and to those who watch, play, referee and manage it. This has shown my determination to move on.

& # 39; I am deeply saddened to have insulted these various communities in football that I and others have worked so hard to include.

& # 39; I want to thank my friends and colleagues at the game for the wisdom and advice they have shared over the years and are leaving the FA with immediate effect.

In his comments on Tuesday, Clarke said, "When I look at what happened to high-profile female footballers, high-profile colored footballers."

Clarke was asked by MP Kevin Brennan if he would like to withdraw the use of the word "colored".

Brennan said, “Mr. Clarke, diversity isn't really the problem, is it? Football is diverse – it's about inclusion.

“When you said something earlier, I heard that you were referring to“ colored ”people. If so, would you like to retire that language? Isn't that exactly the language that means that inclusion is not a reality, even though football is very diverse and there are many people with ethnic minorities and also gay people in it? & # 39;

Clarke replied, & # 39; If I said so, I apologize deeply. Second, I am a product of work abroad.

"I've worked in the US for many years, where I had to use the term 'people of color' because it was a product of their diversity legislation and their positive format of discrimination. Sometimes I trip over my words and make deep apologies."

But Clarke's language on other issues during Tuesday's appearance in front of MPs also caused discomfort.

He said, "When you watch football at its best, the Afro-Caribbean communities are over-represented compared to the South Asian community," said Clarke. “If you go to the FA's IT department, there are a lot more South Asians than Afro-Caribbean. They have different professional interests, ”he added, claiming that a coach once told him that young girls“ don't like the ball that is kicked hard at them ”.

Speaking of gay players in football, Clarke said, "Anyone who runs on the field and says on Monday," I'm gay, I'm proud of it and I'm happy and it's a life choice and I've made it and mine is life a better place because I disclosed: "… I think they would have the support of their friends in the locker room."

It's unclear if Clarke was talking about a "life choice" rather than being gay or getting out.

His comments immediately caught fire on social media.

Clarke has previously been criticized for the language he used when discussing racism

Clarke has previously been criticized for the language he used when discussing racism

The football association immediately apologized for Clarke's use of the word "colored".

The football association immediately apologized for Clarke's use of the word "colored".

Julian Knight, the chairman of the DCMS committee, was clearly unimpressed by Clarke's words

Julian Knight, the chairman of the DCMS committee, was clearly unimpressed by Clarke's words

Clarke has been beaten up by footballers such as former Aston Villa strikers Gabriel Agbonlahor, Anton Ferdinand and Stan Collymore, who labeled his comments "racist profiling".

Clarke was beaten up by footballers such as former Aston Villa strikers Gabriel Agbonlahor, Anton Ferdinand and Stan Collymore, who described his comments as "racist profiling".

Clarke appeared to be turning to a range of racist and sexist stereotypes, including suggesting that being gay was a "life choice" - although it is unclear whether he was referring to the decision to "get out."

Clarke appeared to be turning to a range of racist and sexist stereotypes, including suggesting that being gay was a "life choice" – although it is unclear whether he was referring to the decision to "get out."

Kick It Out responded with a damned statement after the interview was publicized, branding the comments "lazy stereotypes" and "occasional sexism" which, according to other laudable work of the FA, are "a major step backwards".

Clarke was also beaten up by footballers, including former Aston Villa strikers Gabriel Agbonlahor, Anton Ferdinand and Stan Collymore, who called his comments "racist profiling".

Agbonlahor said: “The FA chairman is now calling us colored footballers. How will racism end when people like him are at the top? & # 39;

A timeline of Greg Clarke's tenure as FA chief before stepping down for blatant racial and sexual comments

4th September 2016 – Two months after his nomination, he will take up his role as FA Chair, replacing Greg Dyke.

September 27, 2016 – Less than a month later, he sacked England coach Sam Allardyce after just one responsible game after commenting on an undercover newspaper sting.

16th October 2017 – He is being examined for his role in handling Eni Aluko's allegation of racism against Mark Sampson, the manager of the women's national team, who was eventually sacked. He later admits that his organization "has lost the public's trust".

September 27, 2018 – He supports the plan to sell Wembley Stadium to Fulham owner Shahid Khan in an attempt to raise finances, a deal that eventually failed.

October 14, 2019 – He leads calls for tougher penalties from UEFA after England's black players suffered severe racial abuse during a European Championship qualifier in Bulgaria.

19th October 2020 – He has been heavily criticized for being involved in talks about Project Big Picture – a movement intended to change the landscape of English football.

November 10, 2020 – Clarke apologizes and later resigns after using the word "colored" in a response he gave to MPs at a committee hearing. He also appeared to be turning to a range of racist and sexist stereotypes, suggesting that being gay was a "life choice" – although it is unclear whether he was referring to the decision to "get out."

Former Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and England forward Stan Collymore wrote: “This is purely racial profiling, dangerous and if the FA does not comment or act, then they are complicit.

"When so many especially white men comment:" He's nice, he's just old, his heart is in the right place, "racism moves forward, not in retreat. Always an excuse for it."

Anton Ferdinand also criticized Clarke, tweeted: "I appreciate the FA is doing a good job with their diversity campaign, but it is important that Chairman Greg Clarke knows that using the term" footballers of color "is unacceptable, to denote people with ethnicity. " It is clear that education is required at all levels. & # 39;

Maria Munir of the LGBT charity Stonewall called the comments "harmful".

"The language we use matters, which is why it's a shame Greg Clarke used such a harmful phrase as 'choice of life' to describe he's gay," they said.

& # 39; It was also deeply annoying to hear the archaic words and stereotypes he used to describe blacks and Asians, as well as sexist stereotypes about female gamblers.

"We hope Greg Clarke and the FA will quickly apologize for his comments – as well as for the words he used today to refer to black and Asian players."

Julian Knight, chairman of the DCMS committee, replied on Twitter: “It is correct that Greg Clarke apologized to the committee. However, this is not the first time the FA has been distressed over these issues. That makes us question their commitment to diversity. & # 39;

Kick It Out CEO Sanjay Bhandari also condemned Clarke's remarks, saying, “His use of outdated language to describe blacks and Asians as“ colored ”dates back decades and should end up in the trash can.

“Being gay is not a“ life choice ”as he also claimed. The casual sexism of saying that“ girls ”don't like balls that hit them hard is not staggering from anyone, let alone the leader of our national game. It is totally unacceptable. & # 39;

The FA issued a statement following Clarke's appearance, in which he said: “Greg Clarke apologizes deeply for the language he used to refer to members of the ethnic minority during the selection panel hearing.

"He acknowledged that it was inappropriate to use the term 'colored' and wholeheartedly apologized during the hearing."

The BAME governing body staff is believed to have been appalled by the chairman's comments, especially given that they come just two weeks after the FA introduced a new diversity code that contains specific recruiting goals for all clubs , and that they have the sympathy of many colleagues from all areas.

"There will be momentum for him," said an FA insider Sportsmail.

His resignation was later confirmed by the FA.

Clarke has also been put under pressure by the Premier League and EFL, which have argued with him recently over a number of issues, including the impact of Brexit and the consequences of Project Big Picture's controversial reform proposals for the top flight.

The 63-year-old's role in these secret negotiations has angered many clubs and the EFL, while his position is not supported by the fact that he has made similar racial gaffes in the past.

At an earlier DCMS selection committee meeting in 2017 on the FA's handling of the Eni Aluko / Mark Sampson affair, Clarke notoriously described institutional racism as "fluff".

Who is Greg Clarke? Ex-FTSE 100 chairman who once referred to claims of institutional racism as "fluff"

Greg Clarke was born in Leicester in 1957 and is married with four adult children.

Before entering football, he was the executive director of Cable & Wireless Communications, an FTSE 100 company, before working with a number of other large companies.

Clarke served as chairman of the English Football League from 2010 to 2016 before being named chairman of the FA in September 2016.

He is known for his controversial comments, including the infamous description of allegations of institutional racism as "fluff" before a parliamentary committee.

Clarke was also beaten up by a victim of pedophile soccer coach Barry Bennell after he accused the FA chairman of comparing him to a "crying baby" in parliament.

As FA chairman, he led the organization's response to allegations of historical sexual abuse in football and was interviewed by MPs about his work in 2017.

While testifying to MPs, Clarke controversially attacked the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) for "walking away" from abuse victims, speaking of an abuse survivor who "cried like a baby" after declining the money for the consultation.

Andy Woodward, who was molested by trainer Barry Bennell in Crewe when he was 11-15 years old, believed Clarke was referring to him.

"I certainly didn't cry like a baby and I feel humiliated by the words he used," he said. & # 39; I feel extremely hurt. I did not think it appropriate to use those words about myself from a very confidential meeting at Wembley last year. That pissed me off deeply.

“I understand he's under a lot of pressure right now, but I've had several people contact me directly and tell me I'm really sorry for them. They knew right away that it was me he was referring to. & # 39;

Prior to joining the FA, he was also the director and chairman of Leicester City FC.

"Language that belongs in the trash can of history": Kick It Out's statement to Clarke

Sanjay Bhandari, Executive Chair at Kick It Out, says: & # 39; I was extremely disappointed to see Greg Clarke's comments on the DCMS Select Committee today. His use of outdated language to describe blacks and Asians as "colored" dates back decades and should continue to fall into the trash can of history.

“Being gay is not a“ life choice ”as he also claimed. The casual sexism of saying that“ girls ”don't like balls that hit them hard is not felt by anyone, let alone the leader of our national game. It is totally unacceptable.

Kick It Out CEO Sanjay Bhandari said he was "extremely disappointed" with Clarke's comments to the DCMS Select Committee

Sanjay Bhandari, Executive Chairman of Kick It Out, said he was "extremely disappointed" with Clarke's comments to the DCMS Select Committee

“I was particularly concerned about the use of lazy racial stereotypes about South Asians and their alleged career preferences. It reflects similar lazy stereotypes that I have heard spread at the club academy level.

“This kind of attitude could partly explain why, statistically speaking, South Asians are the most underrepresented ethnic minority in the field. We'll talk more about this later this week when we discuss some research due to be released on Thursday.

"Football needs to reinforce and remedy this lack of representation of the South Asians on the field. Virtually no progress has been made in 40 years." My experience as a South Asian is that we don't have different career goals, but different results.

& # 39; Talent is evenly distributed, but opportunities are not. Football associations need to focus on distributing this opportunity evenly and eliminating the systemic biases that reflect these lazy stereotypes.

& # 39; I've seen the fine work the FA has done in creating a more inclusive game, not least in the Diversity in Football Leadership Code. The FA was rightly applauded for leading this effort.

'But these comments show that more needs to be done to challenge attitudes. With all of the recent moves, the comments made today are a huge step backwards. & # 39;

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