Ferguson: Roberts stance wrong

BY foxsports • October 19, 2012

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has condemned Jason Roberts for refusing to wear a Kick it Out T-shirt this weekend.

Ferguson refuted reports that Rio Ferdinand was planning to join brother Anton of Queens Park Rangers and Reading striker Roberts in not wearing the anti-discrimination body's clothing ahead of the fixtures this weekend.

Roberts told Sky Sports News he would not be wearing his T-shirt because he felt Kick it Out had failed in its attempt to tackle racism in football and not been strident enough in their response to the John Terry and Luis Suarez racial abuse incidents.

"I have to disagree with Jason Roberts. I think he is making the wrong point," Ferguson said. "Everyone should be united, with all the players in the country wearing the Kick it Out warm-up tops.

"I don't know what point he is trying to make. I don't know if he is trying to put himself on a different pedestal from everyone. But he really should be supporting all the rest of the players who are doing it."

As a leading anti-racism campaigner, United defender Rio - whose brother Anton was the subject of racist abuse from Chelsea captain Terry - would be an obvious candidate to snub the campaign.

However, it does not appear that will happen and Ferguson added: "When you do something, and everyone believes in it, you should all do it together. There shouldn't be sheep wandering off.

"I think he is making the wrong message. All the players are wearing it. I have only heard that Jason Roberts is different - but he is very different. He plays a game and is in the studio 20 minutes after it. That is a great privilege."

Ferguson's stance won backing from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who said: "If they (black players) do not join in, that makes the campaign not credible."

Reading striker Roberts told Sky Sports News: "It seems like the authorities don't have the stomach to take this on, and if the players don't take it on then nobody will."

Roberts believes Terry's four-game ban is "nowhere near what people expect" and says it is down to players to take a lead.

Roberts has called on Chelsea to come down hard on their captain after a club statement confirmed Terry is facing internal disciplinary action.

He said: "You know we've sat and we've spoken about the Serbian FA and their view of what happened out there with the England Under-21s and how you have to take responsibility.

"I think for a club like Chelsea, if you find yourself in the middle of this, you have to be seen to be doing the correct thing and the correct thing is to be taking action against someone who has done something like that in the game.

"If you used that sort of language in the workplace, what sanction would you expect to be given? I don't know. You say about fans saying it on the sidelines and what would happen to them?

"Certainly a four-game ban is nowhere near what people would expect for something like this. I guess it's up to Chelsea to do what's right."

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