Webber apologises for 'disgraceful' comments about Black footballers

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Former Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber has apologised for comments made in an interview where he suggested several Black footballers could have ended up in jail had they not forged successful careers in the game.

Webber listed five players as examples who might have ended up in “jail or something else” had they not made it as professional footballers – including Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling and Norwich’s Jonny Rowe – when talking about his passion for helping young people from underprivileged backgrounds.

In the interview with The Pink Un, Webber said: “We want to help the guys who really need it, not the ones who are maybe privileged.

“I saw that with our young footballers. Jonny Rowe wouldn’t mind me saying it but him, Abu Kamara, Max [Aarons], Jamal [Lewis], Raheem [Sterling] back in the day at Liverpool, where they come from it had to work out for them in football, because the alternative is potentially jail or something else.”

His comments drew a furious reaction from the players’ families, with Aarons’ mother Amber accusing Webber of “casual racism and blatant disrespect”.

Troy Townsend of Kick It Out also branded Webber’s remarks an “absolute disgrace” and described them as being “racially profiling”.

Webber has now contacted the players and their families to apologise.

Lewis, Aarons, Kamara and Rowe came through the ranks during Webber’s six years with Norwich, with Lewis and Aarons eventually making big-money moves to Newcastle and Bournemouth.

Kick It Out reporting racism

Online Reporting Form | Kick It Out

Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.


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