'We’re all human beings': Bolton Wanderers striker on racism and tackling it
Wanderers striker Victor Adeboyejo joined schoolchildren from across Bolton to celebrate a milestone in the fight to kick out racism.
Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) has now educated and engaged with more than one million young people through anti-racism workshops, since starting 27-years-ago.
To celebrate, young people from Bolton had a chance to find out more about what the work the organisation does, and the impact racism can have.
SRtRC was started in 1996 by former Newcastle goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, after experiencing racist abuse by a group of fans outside the club’s ground, St James’ Park.
He started small, making school visits and talking to pupils about racism. Now, the organisation works with 50,000 young people every year.
At the Bolton Wanderers event children asked about racism and sterotyping people.
Victor Adeboyejo said: “It’s a good opportunity to speak to young people about racism and just try and educate them as much as we can.
“I think that’s what the topic really needs, is people educating each other about the situation, understanding that we’re all different and as much as we may not have the same skin tone, we’re all the same in our make-up as human beings.”
He spoke about the questions asked by children during the panel, saying: “There were some very challenging questions!
“As much as we’re teaching them, I’m also learning myself, about understanding each other, understanding that people are different, and that the difference is what makes us unique.
“So as much as we’re teaching them, they’re also teaching us in a sense. There were some amazing questions and some amazing contributions from the kids.”
Gabriel Hegharty, a Year Five pupil at St William's RC Primary School in Great Lever, said: “What surprised me is being racist isn’t always towards your skin colour, it can also be towards your ethnicity, culture and your religion.
“We can try and teach everyone to be understanding of everyone’s different physical features and appearance, and to treat everyone equally.
“They took us on a tour of Bolton's stadium, and they took us to the changing rooms of the home and away teams. It was really fun.”
Answering a question about stereotyping on the panel, Phil Mason, CEO of Bolton Wanderers in the Community, said: “Whenever we stereotype people and label people, we often try to make them the problem, as opposed to thinking about yourself or your attitude as the problem.
“When we stereotype, we make conclusions about a group as opposed to thinking of them as unique individuals.
“We need to recognise all of us are made up of the same things. We’re all human beings that can show care and love and support for one another.”
Ged Grebby, SRtRC Chief Executive, said: “We’ve been working in anti-racism education for 27 years. To reach the milestone of educating 1 million people is testimony to the hard work and dedication of so many people involved in this charity.
“Bolton Wanderers have always been great supporters of our work so we’re delighted to have their support for this event so soon after breaking through the one million milestone.”
For more information about Show Racism the Red Card, visit their website here: https://www.theredcard.org/