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How Long Until Diversity ?

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 how long until diversity
embraces inclusivity
how long until the day begins
when ev’ry coach is welcomed in
to poerate ibn ev’ry league
regardless of their race or creed

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 no referees in our top league
and lower down just two or three
who makes these rules and who decides
to close the door unless you’re white ?
this thread that runs within our sport
this ‘old school-old boys’ rule we’re taught
by pompous men who take delight
in keeping our game oh so white

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 they built our game with blinkered eyes
in well kept boardrooms rich and nice
where chairmen met into the night
to keep the game completely white
the crowds that flocked back in the day
who swelled the bank each Saturday
and all the while try as we might
the People’s Game remained so white

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 the brilliant players we behold
they hide what will at last unfold
the more we dig the more we see
no welcome to diversity
beyond the pitch behind the scene
one wonders do they plot and scheme
and meet and chat into the night
to keep the game completely white?

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 how long we ask now in our world
before a gifted boy and girl
of any colour race or creed
be given every chance they need?
to manage play and referee
at every level in the league
to rid this policy from sight
and reward those who are not white…

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 I long to stand and watch with pride
as ancient modes are swept aside
and Black and Asians have the right
to ref and coach by day and night
at ev’ry level that we see
and welcome in diversity

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 a hundred and fifty years old
the FA Cup we too are told
but in that time not once have we
a black or Asian referee
To those who built with blinkered eyes
your day and time is drawing nigh
no longer will you have the right
to keep our game completely white

13

Notes

English football has been rocked by a fresh racism scandal after black and Asian referees revealed the scale of abuse and prejudice that, they say, is holding them back.
Joel Mannix, referee, officiating the game between St. Albans City and Hungerford.

Elite football in England has 40 referees – all white. Why don’t black officials get top jobs? A dossier compiled by match officials, and seen by the Observer, alleges that racism in the Football Association’s refereeing system is undermining efforts by black and Asian people to reach the highest levels of the game.

The diversity report submitted to the FA contains racist comments allegedly made by the observers who assess referees for promotion to the higher leagues. The FA is now facing calls for an urgent inquiry. Tony Burnett, chief executive of the anti-racism charity Kick It Out, said: “The lack of diversity in refereeing is our biggest failure in football. Black and Asian people are not getting through to elite refereeing.”

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/how-long-until-diversity/