Moses Swaibu says it is high time- Black Footballers should get mentors they can trust
Former English footballer, Swaibu spent his childhood in South London and wanted to be a footballer ever since.
However, this was one of the two available options for them back then for the black people- either they had to take up music or sports. He says that these were the only two professions that brought Black members on television. Moses also said that there are only a few “role models” in their homes or society, which is why they lacked proper guidance.
Moses Swaibu’s Football Career
He said that they had no experienced support when young members needed to know about the basics. Moses was lucky to get into Crystal Palace Football Club and gain professional playing knowledge before joining Lincoln. He said that only a few youthful players can make the best of the opportunities, the rest are left with no ‘Plan B’ for their careers and lives.
He pointed out that the streets become their best alternative to make money quickly. However, he also added that once you step in, you can never make an escape from the mess. Last year, Moses’ brother’s friend was killed on the streets. Swaibu expressed his concern that even if they were representing famous clubs, they always had a fear of staying a ‘call away’ from getting cast out.
Condition Of Black Players
During his professional gaming career, Moses had seen many players with similar backgrounds being labeled based on their lives outside the field. He also said that when players come from a single-parent family, knowing about the responsibilities and power is difficult. And Football Clubs fall back in providing the type of treatment such players need or deserve.
He narrated a story of one of his teammates, who is currently serving imprisonment of 15-years. The player came to the team manager and told him about how last night someone had ‘fired a gun’. Rather than being given some moral support, he was just asked to return home and forget about what happened.
Moses further added the allegations of bribery and match-fixing that were imposed on him and Michael Boateng. Back in 2014, the players were pulled in the conspiracy and were forced into a lifetime ban from playing football. Swaibu had to stay in prison for 16-months during his trial, and after 2 sessions of court, it was found that matches were not fixed.
After returning from prison, he joined the Professional Footballers’ Association and organized workshops with them. He says that maximum players or people working in the educational & integrity departments are whites. Moses said that not many of these members would be able to step into the workshops or sessions and have the same connection with the young players.
Diversity In Teams
He states that he can work better with them because the players can relate to what Moses had faced. Swaibu also said that the team of PFA & FA is not culturally diverse, there are only a few people from minority groups. The player raised a question that if football can make an impact on the whole world and improve people’s lives, then why can’t it bring a change inside the board of directors?
Moses Swaibu titles this as not a call for getting sympathy and consolation, but as a ‘harsh’ way of bringing the reality into the spotlight. Only when the society and people know what the Black people and players face, they will be able to understand and bring the much-needed change.
It might take time, but eventually, the leaders and authorities will notice this.
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