Let's be united on racism, says Pittman

Jon-Paul Pittman (right) wearing the Kick It Out campaign t-shirt before Saturday’s 5-0 win over Accrington

Jon-Paul Pittman (right) wearing the Kick It Out campaign t-shirt before Saturday’s 5-0 win over Accrington

First published in Sport Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

Jon-Paul Pittman believes it is vital all players fight against racism in football, regardless of whether they wear the Kick It Out t-shirts.

The campaign’s annual week of action has traditionally seen all footballers show their support for the anti-racism group by warming up in special shirts.

But this season several players – including Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand – opted not to wear them in protest at the lack of progress.

It follows several high-profile incidents in the last 12 months, most recently involving abuse of the England Under-21 side in Serbia last week.

Pittman wore his t-shirt before Oxford United’s game against Accrington Stanley on Saturday, and believes in the merits of Kick It Out.

While he sympathised with those who chose not to wear the t-shirts, the striker stressed the key was to provide a united front.

He said: “I think it’s important that we all stay together, whether you wear the t-shirt or not – it’s really what goes on behind the scenes.

“I understand the guys who didn’t wear their t-shirts, but we need to try and get racism out of the game and it won’t happen overnight.

“If someone has a racist attitude it’s not going to diminish as soon as they go into a stadium, they will still hold those feelings.”

The 25-year-old was on the receiving end of incidents earlier in his career and was the Kick It Out ambassador for Wycombe Wanderers.

Although work still needs to be done, Pittman, who is in the United squad for tonight’s npower League Two trip to Rochdale, was keen to point out the problems lie with a tiny minority.

He said: “I don’t think this is a league or a country full of hatred, it’s just a select few who ruin it for everybody and tarnish the image.

“I’ve not had any problems for years, but it still happens and we’ve got to try and sort it out.”

Comments (4)

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11:44am Tue 23 Oct 12

BigAlBiker says...

The only colour i am interested in is yellow, playing well, scoring goals and winning, any other colour does not count.
The only colour i am interested in is yellow, playing well, scoring goals and winning, any other colour does not count. BigAlBiker
  • Score: 1

1:44pm Tue 23 Oct 12

adlibber says...

Sadly until the govt do more than pay lip service to what seems to be a growing problem racism won't go away. The rise of EDL should be a concern for us all given their random acts of violence. The BNP is in turmoil and Griffin is a moron but those leaving that odious party will still be racist. Public ridicule and name and shame in workplace should be first port of call.

Racism is the best example of ignorance in action.
Sadly until the govt do more than pay lip service to what seems to be a growing problem racism won't go away. The rise of EDL should be a concern for us all given their random acts of violence. The BNP is in turmoil and Griffin is a moron but those leaving that odious party will still be racist. Public ridicule and name and shame in workplace should be first port of call. Racism is the best example of ignorance in action. adlibber
  • Score: 0

4:03pm Tue 23 Oct 12

oldun says...

Kick out racism. PS I very much wish that the piece had come from a white player. Oh too often the main voices are those of black players, Better said by him than by nobody , mind you
Kick out racism. PS I very much wish that the piece had come from a white player. Oh too often the main voices are those of black players, Better said by him than by nobody , mind you oldun
  • Score: 1

11:30pm Tue 23 Oct 12

colinsfew says...

Whatever happened to the saying "sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me"?????? It seems that footballers have never seemed to have left the playground.....load of old bollo about nothing .imo
Whatever happened to the saying "sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me"?????? It seems that footballers have never seemed to have left the playground.....load of old bollo about nothing .imo colinsfew
  • Score: -1

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