Preston North End’s Callum Robinson helped primary school children show the red card to racism at an anti-discrimination themed event at Deepdale.
Hosted by Preston North End in conjunction with Show Racism the Red Card, the event saw schools from across Preston come together to partake in various educational workshops, promoting key anti-racism messages to the younger generation.
Included in the afternoon was a question and answer session between Robinson and former footballer Efe Sodje, with both divulging their thoughts and experiences of racist behaviour to participants from ten different local schools.
Having suffered racist abuse first hand, Robinson highlighted the importance of such events before praising the work being done throughout English football to educate future generations.
“It’s important for us as a football club to put on events like this so we can help young kids from the local community,” said Robinson post event.
“It’s great to see so many different schools come down and speak about how to stop racism and effectively give a red card to racism; hopefully we have educated them and shown how racist abuse can hurt people from an early age.
“I was asked some very good questions and it’s good to know that they are asking questions like that.”
On the racist abuse Robinson suffered himself, he continued: “Back when I was with England U17s, I was racially abused in a country in Georgia.
“I had racist chants thrown in my direction and things thrown onto the pitch. In Georgia, they are obviously not as educated as much as we are in England about racism but it still wasn’t nice to experience.
“I was only young but I still knew what was happening and it did hurt; there were other black players in the team who also suffered the abuse but you’ve just got to deal with that in your professionalism.
“You can’t think that it’s okay because it’s not but the FA got involved and that helped massively.
“Combatting racism is getting much better now within football - If we can get the message out from an early age to these children who are eight, nine and ten-years-old, to ensure they know not to bring racism into anything from an early age, it’s going to help them in the future.”
The event was organised as part of Preston North End’s PL Primary Stars Programme. Here, North End through its Community and Education Trust venture out into different primary schools in Preston, using the power of the football club to develop the skills, ambitions and education of primary school children on and off the sports field.
At the heart of its delivery is Schools Provision Manager Harriet Creighton-Levis who was delighted to see so many primary schools supporting the event.
“Here at Preston North End, we are committed to tackling discrimination of all forms in the Preston community and are latest work with Show Racism the Red Card will help promote inclusivity and diversity to local school children.
“We acknowledge that our supporters hail from a variety of diverse backgrounds and we work hard to celebrate this, both as a football club, and as a Community Trust.”
Ged Grebby, Chief Executive of Show Racism the Red Card said: “The campaign has a great relationship with Preston North End and PNE Community and Education Trust and they have continued to show great support for SRtRC season after season.
“We know that the Community Trust conduct some fantastic work of their own so it was a privilege to be invited to Preston to work in partnership.”
Preston North End's PFA Player Ambassador for Show Racism the Red Card is Robinson's team-mate and close friend, Daniel Johnson who unfortunately couldn't be there on the day.
On the event, Johnson said: "It sounded like a great day, and a great idea by all, and I certainly hope it further educated the part that we all can play in combatting Racism once and for all.