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September 7, 2019
Ruud Gullit says it is 'almost impossible' for black players to speak out about racism
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Ruud Gullit says it is ‘almost impossible’ for black players to speak out about racism

Football Focus: Does football have a racism problem?

Black footballers find it “almost impossible” to speak out over racism because they are cast in a “victim role” when they discuss it, says former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit.

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was subject to alleged racist abuse from Chelsea fans last week.

He said newspapers are helping to “fuel racism” by the ways in which they portray young black footballers.

“The biggest problem for us is to talk about it,” Gullit told BBC Sport

“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’.”

Former Netherlands midfielder Gullit said he would be “glad” to see someone like former Real Madrid and France player Zinedine Zidane, who is of Algerian descent, talk about the issue because that would give the discussion a “different vibe”.

“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,” added Gullit.

“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.”

Sterling, 24, became the face of a Nike Football advertising campaign