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Pennant voices support for Kick It Out

Pennant voices support for Kick It Out

Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant gives a player's perspective on racism in football.

As a young black footballer, Jermaine Pennant is acutely aware of the problem of racism in the game and in society, and has been an active supporter of the Kick It Out campaign.

The 2007 week of action for the organisation ends on Monday after a number of awareness events.

"I haven't experienced it at a major level," Pennant says of racism.

"But there have been chants when I've played for the England Under-21s against countries such as Slovenia. Monkey chants and those kinds of noises."

racial abuse

He admits it is difficult to know what to do ­ and, indeed, was sent off for retaliating after claiming he had suffered racial abuse during an Under-21 international four years ago. "It's like, 'Is that what I think it is?'" Pennant says. "And then I just think, 'I'll deal with it'. You try to, but it does sometimes affect you.

"Your blood is boiling and it can interfere. But coming from another player makes it even worse.

"I know how shocked players can be. You don't know what to do. Sometimes you try to take it into your own hands, maybe when you go for a little bit of revenge. But the best thing is just to go out there and beat them on the pitch and that makes them look even more stupid.

"Unfortunately, it's not just in football, it's in society. There are different colours of skin but we are all still the same. We're all here for the same reason and just because you are a different race or background doesn't make any difference."

08001699414 is the number to call if you have encountered racism at matches.

To visit the Kick It Out website click here.

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