Wes Morgan: Boardrooms must become more diverse for ‘real change’ to happen

Nick Mashiter, PA
·3-min read

Leicester skipper Wes Morgan wants football’s stand against racism to spark change at boardroom level.

The Foxes’ title-winning captain believes making the game’s hierarchy more diverse is the best way to combat discrimination.

Paul Elliott, chairman of the Football Association’s inclusion advisory board, is a contender to become the body’s new chairman after Greg Clarke quit in November following a series of offensive remarks he made at an appearance before MPs.

Players have also continued to take a knee this season in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and Morgan hopes their actions will make a difference.

“We want to have a positive change and off the field you are looking to the hierarchy of clubs and society,” said the 37-year-old.

“On the pitch the stats are one in three are black or from BAME ethnicity, but look at the boardroom outside the pitch and there is hardly any.

“Something’s not right there. We are represented well on the pitch but when it comes to the boardroom why are there no black or BAME people in those positions?

“Once we get the hierarchy more diverse, that’s when real change will happen. We still have a long way to go and we’re a work in progress, but things are very positive which is a good sign.

“It’s a group effort from everyone involved, all the players taking the knee have contributed to what we have achieved so far.

“There is a real willingness for people to listen and make positive changes which will be better for the game.

“It’s not going to happen overnight, it’s going to be a work in progress. We have made some forward steps but have a long way to go.”

Morgan was speaking to Show Racism the Red Card to mark the charity’s 25th anniversary this year.

It comes as players continue to be targeted on social media, with Manchester United trio Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe, Chelsea’s Reece James, West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers and Southampton’s Alex Jankewitz all recent victims of racist abuse.

Morgan was part of the discussions between Premier League captains last season about how to make a stand against racism before it was decided teams would take a knee before games following the death of George Floyd in America last May.

Leicester and Manchester Untied players take a knee ahead of their Premier League match
Leicester and Manchester Untied players take a knee ahead of their Premier League match (Oli Scarff/PA).

“We didn’t want it to be one of those things which you do for a week or two and then stop and the whole thing you’ve done dissipates and gets forgotten about,” said the defender.

“We wanted to remind everyone watching we’re taking and knee and we’re taking a stand against racism.

“Players were getting some severe abuse through social media and it was unacceptable. We want a change to happen, there are things in the pipeline we are discussing to take this stance further.

“Social media, we want them to take responsibility and do more in terms of making the victims feel safe and getting the perpetrators of these posts.

“It’s not a black v other colours and creeds. Black Lives Matter is everyone sticking together and highlighting the fact sometimes there are social injustices black people experience and we want that to change.

“I can go on and on about certain things which continue to happen, the chairman of the FA (Clarke) saying some things which were unacceptable, things like that happen in society which we want to stamp out and change.”