Former West Ham and Chelsea striker Carlton Cole has shared his views on the controversial new European Super League (ESL).
However, in doing so he also raised his voice in concern for the reaction to the ESL compared to that of incidents of racism in the game.
As a player, Cole has been on the receiving end of horrific racist abuse on numerous occasions with one incident in 2012 resulting in the arrest of the perpetrator.
Cole has been outspoken on the issues of racism in football and society, praising West Ham in 2018 for ‘acting swiftly’ when dealing with a racist incident at the club involving former director of player recruitment Tony Henry.
Posting across his social media channels on Monday, Cole reacted to the news of the breakaway ESL.
Whilst showing his disappointment with the ESL, Cole raised serious questions about why the governing bodies were so quick to speak up against the ESL compared with their reaction to racist incidents in the game.
“A lot of people asking me about the super league and my thoughts,” Cole wrote.
“Of course I am surprised, shocked and confused by this whole thing and stand with our fans but extremely disappointed at the same time.
“Disappointed that there isn’t this much energy towards racial abuse in the game. No joint statements from the governing bodies, no threats to ban countries from competitions. No player been banned from the World Cup or European Championships.
“As soon as it’s a financial implication the consequences are different. That to me is a more pressing issue.
“Now everyone is encouraging the players to forfeit playing in the league and risk being sacked but when it was a racial issue it would put the club in a compromising position.
“We can’t have it both ways and it’s unfair on the players but like I said I stand with fans as always and root for the underdog but until the equality for human beings is priority, equality for football clubs is a secondary concern.”
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Cole’s thoughts were echoed by Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford when speaking to Sky Sports after his team’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Bamford said: “It’s amazing the amount of uproar that comes into the game when somebody’s pockets are being hurt. It’s a shame it’s not like that when other things go wrong at the minute. The racism and stuff like that.”
Whilst the condemnation of the ESL has been almost universal, Cole and Bamford have both raised an excellent point and one that hopefully will sink in across the game sooner rather than later.