During the course of a Division One game in the Belfast & District Football League on 28th October 2017 our player was subjected to racism from an opposition player. The opposition player in question pathetically attempted to justify the sickening remark by stating that his racist comment was made in reference to nationality and not colour. We reported this loathsome incident to both our league and divisional association. However, as the referee did not submit a report, we were informed that no action would be taken against the player in question.
Our player was left feeling extremely hurt and humiliated by this disgusting episode. This has resulted in our player questioning his future, not just at our club, but also within the local game. As teammates and friends we wish to offer our full support as he attempts to rebuild his confidence and trust in the local game. Our club was appalled to see that another member of this local club has been named on social media websites as being involved in sending a racist statement in an unrelated incident.
Kashmir Bilbao Football Club are committed to being a responsible and inclusive member of our community. We strongly believe that football should be an inclusive sport that everyone should be able to enjoy watching and playing. No player, club official, match official or spectator should be subject to contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions concerning race, colour, language, religion, origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation.
Our club has pledged our full support to and been a signatory of our leagues Respect Charter from its inception. This charter saw us making a commitment to non-tolerance of racism or sectarian abuse and discrimination in all its forms.
In the New Year we will begin working with anti-racism groups to campaign and educate in the hope that these toxic beliefs can be removed from our local game. We will be sending an invitation to local clubs to attend workshops. We will also be inviting the perpetrator from our game to attend the workshop in the hope that he can receive education and guidance which will allow him to realise the impact that his racism had on our player.
It can be easy to ignore racism or believe that it is not your problem. This just makes it acceptable and prolongs the Neanderthal attitudes. It is time that we all took a stand and said no to racism and discrimination. Let's make 2018 a year when we tackle and eliminate this scourge from the local game.
The Club Committee