Following a season in which football has been rocked by allegations of racism, former Premier league defender Clarke Carlisle explores how far his profession has progressed since the dark days of banana throwing on the terraces, in a one-hour documentary for BBC Three.
Fondly nicknamed ‘Britain’s brainiest footballer’, Clarke has played at all levels of the game, and as the chairman of the Professional Footballers Association he feels he has a good grasp of the issues confronting football today.
Setting out in the belief that racism has been largely eradicated from the game and that recent incidents are being addressed by the authorities, Clarke faces a stark realisation as he embarks on a journey which brings racism in football very close to home.
From the tribalism of clubs and fans to the comparative lack of ethnic minorities on the terraces; the lack of South Asian players and black managers in the professional game and the shockingly overt racism in Poland, one of the host countries for Euro 2012, Clarke emerges with a very different perspective on the ugly face of the beautiful game.
Especially after his father tells him for the first time of his disturbing and sad experiences of racism while trying to become a professional player.
Is Football Racist? will feature a range of voices from across the world of football.
Former Liverpool and England players John Barnes and Stan Collymore and Birmingham City’s manager Chris Hughton all share their thoughts and experiences.
Jewish comedian and avid Chelsea fan David Baddiel, former football hooligan Cass Pennant and the Punjabi Wolves, the UK’s largest group of ethnic minority football supporters, will also give the view from the terraces.
The documentary, produced by Victory Television, will be broadcast on the day that Chelsea captain John Terry’s trial for alleged racism concludes, and the verdict of the trial will be included in the film.
Is Football Racist?
Monday 16th July – 9pm-10pm – BBC Three