Anton Ferdinand refuses to wear Kick It Out t-shirt before QPR clash against Everton

Anton Ferdinand stood by his brother Rio and refused to wear a Kick It Out campaign T-shirt ahead of QPR’s clash with Everton yesterday.

The QPR defender, dropped to the bench for the game, was joined in his protest by team-mates Shaun Wright-Phillips and Junior Hoilett, and neither Everton striker Victor Anichebe or centre-half Sylvain Distin warmed up in the anti-racism organisation’s shirt.

Several other players snubbed Kick It Out’s initiative over the weekend as the fallout from the John Terry-Anton Ferdinand case continues.

Before the game Victor Anichebe said: “Are we really kicking it out? There’s a situation that’s just happened. I believe in kicking racism out of everything, not just football – kick it out of society.

“Situations have happened and I don’t feel the outcome has been just. I won’t wear the T-shirt, I don’t think it’s right to wear it. If other people want to wear it that’s their right.

“I don’t want to be some poster boy for Kick Racism Out of Football. You don’t really see the T-shirts until something happens, then we decide to wear the T-shirts.”

Rio Ferdinand was the lone Manchester United player who did not don the T-shirt ahead of their victory over Stoke on Saturday, which has angered Sir Alex Ferguson, who said that Ferdinand’s decision was “embarrassing” and promised to “deal with it”.


Me too: Rio Ferdinand (left) opted to refuse to wear the shirt before Manchester United beat Stoke at Old Trafford
Rio Ferdinand (left) refused to wear the shirt before Manchester United beat Stoke at Old Trafford


PFA chairman and Kick It Out ambassador Clarke Carlisle hopes the decision of some players not to wear anti-racism t-shirts will prompt discussions rather than punishments.

“Sir Alex Ferguson is trying to reaffirm his unwavering support of the Kick It Out campaign and that’s fantastic,” Carlisle said. “But this should not be seen as player versus club or dissension from a player against their employer.

“This is about a group of players and some wider issues that transcend that relationship.

“We would not want to see Rio Ferdinand punished. As I said of the handshake saga, you cannot coerce any man against his will and to do so would be the complete opposite of what the campaign is for.

“Brian McDermott (Reading manager) and Alan Pardew (Newcastle manager) said they had good conversations with their players to understand why (they did not wear the t-shirt) and they respect them in that.

“Sir Alex Ferguson pointed out in his own interview he did not know why Jason Roberts or any other player would not want to wear the t-shirt, so I hope that conversation takes place in the next couple of days.”


No way: Micah Richards (left) rejected the shirt at the Hawthorns before Manchester City beat West Bromwich
Micah Richards (left) rejected the shirt at the Hawthorns before Manchester City beat West Bromwich


Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Hughes said he will not punish his players for refusing to wear the Kick It Out T-Shirt on Sunday.

Unlike Ferguson, Hughes respects the decisions of all his players.

“There was a discussion between the players at the beginning of the week,” said Hughes.

“My understanding was that everybody was going to wear the T-shirts.

“It’s a personal thing but my belief is that any campaign trying to take racism out of football and sport is a good thing and we should all try to support it.

“Everybody will have their own view on that. Some will say they are doing enough, some will say they aren’t doing enough.

“I think the strides the English leagues have made in the last 20 years have been excellent. When I started playing football it was a hell of a lot worse than it is now.

“I realise we should never be complacent. The point has been made that players want more to be done.

“I am sure because of the strength of feeling, people in these organisations will question themselves and maybe that’s good. Maybe that’s why the guys feel strongly enough to do that.”