Hudson-Odoi calls for 'massive change' in football to tackle racism
‘Sometimes you giving them a reaction makes them want to do more’: Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi calls for ‘massive change’ in football as he discusses the difficulties of tackling racist abuse with the club’s first black player Paul Canoville
- Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi urged for more to be done to eradicate racism
- Winger was speaking in a powerful video with ex-Blues player Paul Canoville
- Hudson-Odoi has been subjected to racist abuse at international and club level
- Canoville opened up on the racism he received when making his Chelsea debut
Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has urged for more to be done to eradicate racism in football in a powerful video with the club’s first black player Paul Canoville.
England’s Hudson-Odoi has been subjected to racist abuse at international and club level while Canoville has opened up on the racism he received when making his first-team debut for the Blues in 1982.
The pair sat down in a Beats by Dre and Chelsea FC discussion to shine a light on their experiences of racial abuse, with Hudson-Odoi calling for ‘massive change’ within the game to tackle the issue.
Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi sat down with Paul Canoville (L) to discuss the issue of racism
England’s Hudson-Odoi has been subjected to racist abuse at international and club level
Canoville opened up on his experiences of racism in a powerful video with the Chelsea winger
‘You want to look at them and give them a reaction, but sometimes you giving them a reaction makes them feel like “we want to do more – we want to carry on doing it to you because you’re giving us what we want. You’re giving us that reaction that we’re winning,”‘ Hudson-Odoi said.
‘I think that there’s got to be a massive change. We keep saying it day in day out, we’ve got to change something in football because you don’t want to feel that kind of way about anything.
‘Whether it’s in the stadium and you’re hearing racist abuse, or you’re on social media and you’re seeing racial abuse – you shouldn’t be hearing that at all. Our skin colour should never affect football.’
The compelling conversation comes just over a week after FA Chairman Greg Clarke resigned after he referred to ‘coloured footballers’ and claimed South Asians and Afro-Caribbean people have ‘different career interests’ during a car-crash grilling by MPs.
Canoville, who was at Stamford Bridge for five years, cast his mind back to the challenges his parents faced and also expressed his disbelief that racism is still prevalent in society today.
‘For me, it’s what my parents went through. I was proud to be black. It was so difficult when they came over on the Windrush that my mum wanted to better herself and found it difficult,’ Canoville added.
Canoville, who was at Chelsea for five years, cast mind back to challenges his parents faced
Canoville opened up on the racism he received when making his debut for Blues in the 1980s
Hudson-Odoi is grateful to pioneer Canoville for setting an example for others to follow
‘This [colour of my skin] shouldn’t have to get in the way. I just don’t understand it and that still continues to this very day.’
Canoville was the victim of racial abuse when he made his debut – a moment that every footballer should cherish – for Chelsea 38 years ago.
‘That day [Canoville’s first match for Chelsea] was a surprise that shocked me and knocked me for six,’ he said.
‘As a young black lad who was warming up after being given the nod from his manager and thinking ‘yeah I’m ready, I’m going to strip off’, and then I hear this racist abuse… it does affect you because I went home after thinking ‘what did I do wrong? What can I do better?’
Just last week FA Chairman Greg Clarke resigned after he referred to ‘coloured footballers’
After being on the receiving end of racial abuse on the field of play Hudson-Odoi said last season that he would walk off the pitch if he was the target of such abuse again as long as his team-mates and manager agreed.
And the 20-year-old is grateful to pioneer Canoville for setting an example for others to follow.
‘All the stories that I’ve heard and read about – I really appreciate the way you handled your situation,’ Hudson-Odoi added.
‘You made a big statement for everyone to understand that black players can come through, make a name for themselves and be proud of their skin colour.’
Tottenham star Ryan Sessegnon was the latest to reveal that he received vile racist abuse
A number of players in English football have been targeted by racists on social media with Tottenham star Ryan Sessegnon the latest to reveal that he received vile racist abuse on social media earlier this month.
Raheem Sterling, Troy Deeney and Wilfried Zaha have all spoken out on the abuse they have received.
The Premier League launched their own anti-discrimination campaign No Room For Racism prior to the 2020-21 season following support for the Black Lives Matter movement during Project Restart.
While the decision to take the knee before matches was met with unified acceptance during Project Restart following George Floyd’s death in the United States in May, and the Premier League have agreed to continue it this season.
Premier League players have taken a knee before matches in support of the BLM movement
Paul Canoville and Callum Hudson-Odoi’s conversation builds on Beats latest campaign, You Love Me, which celebrates Black culture and resilience. The campaign, which launched last week, discusses the disparate experience of Black artists and athletes being adored for their achievements, whilst the Black community continues to experience oppression and inequality.
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