Former Reading, Newcastle and West Ham goalkeeper has recalled the sickening abuse he received in 1995 which led him to help set up’ Show ‘Racism The Red Card’
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Shaka Hislop vividly remembers the youth who emerged from the dark and racist abuse when he left his car at a gas station near St. James’ Park has filled up.
It was 25 years ago this week. Kevin Keegan’s « entertainers » were aiming for a 10-point Christmas lead in the Premier League and enchanted the nation with their football.
Hislop, despite being 6 feet 4 inches tall and mentally prepared for the « macho » actions he would take if confronted, was « frozen in fear ». .
He said, “When you stand in front of it, you are really scared for your life – no exaggeration. It is such a shuddering experience.
« As they got closer, someone realized who I was and they sang my name and wanted autographs. . . ”
It could have been left there as a terrible memory. Instead, it was the beginning of a 25-year mission. Showing racism The Red Card was founded and has reached one million children. These days, it is Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford who will speak up and take action to address the political and humanitarian problems of the day. Hislop from Trinidad and Tobago was the footballer who took a stand back then – in a very permanent way.
He stated, « I was a black footballer who was worthy of the most heinous racist abuse from 50 meters away, but worth having my name chanted 50 feet away.
“I felt the need to do something. I understood how much the footballers valued the city and how this platform could be used to challenge the stereotypes and have a discussion about the race. ”
He has teamed up with local activist Ged Grebby, who is now Show Racism The Red Card boss. “It started with going to school. My teammate John Beresford joined me and we shared our experiences and what we had learned to share dressing rooms with people from all over the world. ”
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Hislop celebrates its anniversary on Wednesday after a tough year. The former Toon, West Ham and Portsmouth star is now a presenter for ESPN and lives in the United States.
« I’ve been through every emotion in the last year, » he said. “George Floyd’s murder was very difficult. When we got involved in this work, it was a promise to our children to build a better world. I felt like I hadn’t kept my promise.
« Recently my friend Leroy Rosenior said to me, » Shaka, you can’t feel it like that. Think of this as a relay. We run the third stage. It’s up to us to put the baton in the best position for our children and to give them the courage and confidence to run the last leg. « .
“That made us stronger. It released me from the guilt that I felt. We went to Boston and attended a Black Lives Matter march. You see the youth and diversity of the crowd and the energy and then I realized what Leroy was saying.
“It is work that began so long ago, generations, and continued through the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement. Viv Anderson, Laurie Cunningham and John Barnes all worked in soccer. Everything they had to endure. ”
At Christmas 25 years ago, Newcastle were 10 points ahead of the top of the table. Manchester United clawed it back to claim the trophy. Hislop recalled: “It was an exhilarating time. At least something good came out of it in 1995, if not a trophy!
« I felt like if you fall short, learn, eventually you win. But the disappointment was soul-crushing.
« Then the club went public to raise capital. Kevin Keegan was replaced in the Fallout.
« Instead of building on this season, we went off course and the club has not been able to recover since then. ”
But there are powerful words about how supportive his teammates were on and off the pitch when they attended his school visits about racism.
Hislop added, “We went out regularly as a team. Every single player, 30 men, from Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand to the young boys who signed contracts for the first year. That was united and powerful.
“There was no stronger experience that I could have had as a young man of 25. ”
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Shaka Hislop, Newcastle United F. . C.. . , West Ham United F. . C.. . , Premier League, Show Racism The Red Card
World News – GB – Ex-Newcastle star Hislop recalls hideous abuse that sparked a campaign against racism
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