West Ham United FC interview: “People threw bananas, made monkey chants and spat on me.”

This week we had the opportunity to welcome Leroy Roseinor, an ex West Ham football player and ambassador for ‘Show Racism the Red Card’, Joe Lyons, West Ham Foundation Chief Executive, and Bryan Glover, Football development officer at West Ham.

Their presence was felt throughout the campus, not only at football training but also during their interactive and thought provoking presentations to students in the primary aula.

Joe Lyons spoke passionately about his work in the community sports sector and his belief that you can raise aspirations through sport.  He explained how they are striving to break down social barriers and that there is still a long way to go in improving ‘equality and inclusion’ in sport.  Challenging each of us to consider ‘equality and inclusion’ in all that we do.

Leroy Roseinor gave us an insight into the racism he experienced first hand during his professional football career.  He put great emphasis on the difference between racism and discrimination, and the importance of using language accurately.  Reminding us there is only one race, the human race.  He also cleverly demonstrated the power media has in influencing our perception of the world and events.  Encouraging us to continually question and look beyond what we read and hear.

Although in the talks we did not get to hear much from Bryan Glover, The Update got a chance to hear about some of his views on equality, inclusion, and the importance of nurturing young people in football.

Look out for the highlights of the speech which will be on our YouTube channel soon.

Next up: Dr Edith Hall, Professor of Classics at King’s College London on the 28th of October.

Photo:
Photo: Alison Onyebujoh

Article and interviewer: Eibhlín Birkett
Video: Joe Cook
With thanks to: Alison Onyebujoh, Eloise McMinn Mitchell & Finn Boyle
Organisation of speakers & sound: John Deighan