ick It Out executive chair Sanjay Bhandari has labelled FA chairman Greg Clarke’s comments to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as “completely unacceptable” and believes his outdated language should “remain consigned to the dustbin of history”.
Clarke’s comments have been met with a strong backlash, particularly from anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out.
In a statement on Tuesday, Bhandari said: “I was extremely disappointed to see Greg Clarke’s comments today in the DCMS select committee.
“His use of outdated language to describe black and Asian people as ‘coloured’ is from decades ago and should remain consigned to the dustbin of history.
“Being gay is not a ‘life choice’ as he claimed too. The casual sexism of saying ‘girls’ do not like balls hit at them hard, is staggering from anyone, let alone the leader of our national game. It is completely unacceptable.”
Clarke has also received criticism from anti-discrimination campaigner Piara Powar, who tweeted: “I like Greg Clarke, I think he’s quite genuine, but why does he talk such bollocks? This stuff about ‘coloured’ players and Asians in the IT department. It’s inaccurate and insulting.”
Former England striker Stan Collymore has also voiced his concerns, tweeting that Clarke’s comments were “flat out racial profiling”.
Clarke apologised for his comments at the time and later an FA spokesman said: “Greg Clarke is deeply apologetic for the language he used to reference members of the ethnic minority community during the select committee hearing today. He acknowledged that using the term ‘coloured’ is not appropriate and wholeheartedly apologised during the hearing.”