'There shouldn't be sheep wandering off': Alex Ferguson questions Jason Roberts over Kick It Out stance

 

Sir Alex Ferguson says all players should wear 'Kick It Out' T-shirts ahead of tomorrow's Premier League games, including Jason Roberts who has said he will refuse to.

Players throughout the Premier League are due to wear T-shirts emblazoned with the name of the anti-discrimination charity this weekend. But Roberts says he feels "let down" by perceived failures of 'Kick It Out', and has decided to make his stance clear by refusing to wear the T-shirt.

Sir Alex Ferguson believes that sends a confusing message, and has condemned Roberts' stance.

"I have to disagree with Jason Roberts. I think he is making the wrong point," the Manchester United manager said this morning.

"Everyone should be united, with all the players in the country wearing the Kick it Out warm-up tops."

Roberts has been angered by the lack of action over the last year, including how the high-profile racism cases involving Luis Suarez and John Terry were dealt with.

"I find it hard to wear a T-shirt after what has happened in the last year. I won't wear one," the Reading striker told the BBC.

"I'm totally committed to kicking racism out of football but when there's a movement I feel represents the issue in the way that speaks for me and my colleagues, then I will happily support it.

"I think people feel let down by what used to be called 'Let's Kick Racism Out of Football'. People don't feel like they have been strong enough."

Roberts' Reading side play Liverpool this weekend in a match that will feature Suarez, a player banned for eight games after directing racist language at Patrice Evra.

Ferguson added today that he is unclear what Roberts will achieve by refusing to wear the T-shirt.

"I don't know what point he is trying to make.

"I don't know if he is trying to put himself on a different pedestal from everyone. But he really should be supporting all the rest of the players who are doing it."

"When you do something, and everyone believes in it, you should all do it together. There shouldn't be sheep wandering off.

"I think he is making the wrong message.

"All the players are wearing it. I have only heard that Jason Roberts is different - but he is very different. He plays a game and is in the studio 20 minutes after it. That is a great privilege."

Lord Herman Ouseley, the Kick It Out chairman, has tried to placate Roberts.

"He's not been slow in coming forward about this and I respect his views," said Ouseley.

"I can understand his frustrations. If Kick It Out had the power to sort this out then we would have done. Sorry Jason, we don't have that kind of power.

"We in English football have to get our house back in order," he added. "We have to make sure that the things that have happened in the last year do not happen again, and if they are then they are dealt with in a matter of days rather than taking a year to resolve."

There have been rumours that Roberts would not be alone in refusing to wear the T-shirt, with Aston Villa's black players joining the Reading striker. But manager Paul Lambert said today that all his players would be wearing them ahead of their match at Fulham.

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect