Whites ace Marvin’s stand against racism
9:24am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
BOLTON Wanderers star Marvin Sordell has joined the stand against racism in football.
The striker sat with youngsters at the Octagon to watch a hard-hitting performance about racism in football — a touring piece themed around the theatre’s recent production of Tull.
Actors from the Octagon performed the piece before Sordell took to the stage with former Manchester City goal keeper Alex Williams to share their experience of racism in football.
Youngsters in the audience were keen to question Sordell about his time with Wanderers and the England Under 21 Squad.
Asked about when he first experienced racism on the pitch, the 22-year-old said: “Serbia was the first time I experienced anything like that but it was probably a one off compared to other countries that I’ve been to.
“I think racism is very much under the radar and down to individuals. Either way, it’s not a good thing that it goes on.”
Audience members also wanted know how players should react when coming under fire from racist crowds.
Sordell added: “I think it depends on the situation you’re in. For example, at Millwall it was an individual in particular so it can be dealt with. But when you have situations where you see the majority of the crowd being racist I think you should be brave enough to walk off the pitch with the backing of your team mates.”
In November, Sordell reported a racist remark aimed at him by a Millwall fan, which led to the youngster being banned from the ground for the “foreseeable future”.
Asked whether he was upset by the incident, Sordell told the audience: “To be honest I was more surprised than upset because it was something I had not experienced before. I was shocked it could still be around.”
But when it came to playing for different teams, Sordell said he had always been made to feel like one of their own.
He added: “I don’t think I’ve felt restricted or apprehensive about playing for other teams. I’m fortunate enough to live in an area which is very multi-cultural.
“When I’ve played at a new club, they have always been very accepting, including the players. You become one of their own.”
The event was also attended by representatives from the Kick It Out campaign and the Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton.
David Thacker, artistic director at the Octagon, gave a speech about the resonance of the theatre’s latest production.
Tull tells the tale of real life World War One hero Walter Tull — a talented officer on the battlefield and the first black outfield player in the First Division of the Football League. Mr Thacker said: “Walter Tull, he is the reason we are all here. The production has been a catalyst for a range of activities. This particular project raises issues and concerns about racism today.”
Tull finishes on March 16.
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