A number of Premier League managers have applauded Patrick Bamford’s desire to see more done to tackle racism within football, in light of the reaction caused by the abandoned European Super League project.
After Leeds’ 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Elland Road, which took place under 24 hours after news about the breakaway league had emerged, Bamford told Sky Sports it is a “shame” the uproar which was caused across football by the failed attempt to form the Super League is not mirrored with other issues concerning the game, such as racism.
On Bamford’s comments, his manager Marcelo Bielsa said: “Everything that goes towards combatting racism should be applauded.”
“Being a component of our team and being a representative of his [Bamford’s] team-mates points to this. It indicates that football is evolving in the sensibility of these things.”
West Ham boss David Moyes added: “I actually think it’s really good of Patrick Bamford at a time when everybody’s focus has probably gone on to this Super League. Credit to him for saying: Look there are other issues going around out there as well.
“For me, it just makes me think of the good work that the football players are doing at the moment that Bamford has brought this up.
“Look what Marcus Rashford is doing with the government on changing the food situation for the kids, [and] the amount of good work that footballers are doing, who often go away and get criticised for different things.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said: “I’m pretty sure we could do more. But there are many other issues in society – human rights can be improved.
“People show the values, sometimes we react for the human rights, better societies, sometimes we are not so committed like we are sometimes in football.”
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo added: “We want this response for all the problems that affect us. Racism is a big one. But honestly I think everyone is trying the best to eradicate racism. It takes time, we have to be resilient and persist to stop it.”
Brighton boss Graham Potter said: “I agree with him [Bamford], football is a vehicle for positive change. The reason everyone got behind this is because of values, the integrity of competition and our sport. If we can align that with forms of discrimination, whether it’s race, gender, sexuality or religion, then we should.
“The positive thing over the last few days is you can see how possible it is. We can be proud as a football community in terms of how we dealt with the situation. Now the question is if we can use it for other serious problems we have in society.”
Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith said: “I thought it was a really good statement to make. I don’t think anybody in the football community was supporting FIFA or UEFA, it was just the principles of sporting competition that everyone was up in arms about. The fact that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and it all seems to be about money again.
“One of the most important things is that we actually keep fighting racism, trying to tackle all kinds of discrimination, because we’ve talked about social media blackouts, but this has to be a uniformed approach to it from all of the football community as well.”
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