Former Chelsea midfielder Ruud Gullit believes it’s almost impossible for a black person to speak out regarding racism because they take a victim role.
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling was the subject of alleged racial abuse from a Chelsea fan, sparking widespread debate over racism in football and society.
The former Liverpool star then took to social media to condemn the incident, whilst also criticizing media outlets for helping to “fuel racism” with biased news coverage.
Gullit, who ended his playing career at Chelsea and took charge of the club between 1996 and 1998, told BBC Sport:
“The biggest problem for us is to talk about it.”
“Because the moment you talk about it people say, ‘He puts himself in a victim role’, but it’s not that.”
“If you want to have a head figure speaking out against racism, it’s almost impossible that a black person can do that because people see them and say, ‘It’s him again, he’s always moaning’.”
“I talk from a very privileged position and I am happy with the position I have, but I cannot speak for people who are not in my position, who are struggling,” Gullit added.
“I hope things change and people see it is not because we want to complain but because it’s there.”
“I hope people who are in a different position to me get listened to.”
Meanwhile, former England U21 international, Nigel Reo-Coker also had his say on the issue, saying: “Raheem deserves support from his fellow pros, he has taken a big stand and done a very brave thing.”
“It would be great if some other players would support him and have the belief and confidence to go out and be themselves.”
“But in England, black players are still afraid to speak out because they don’t want to be so-called ‘blacklisted’.”