‘Maybe we are alone’: Jude Bellingham questions whether authorities ‘care’ about racist abuse directed at Black footballers
A former Liverpool FC midfielder who was racially abused by racist fans for almost 10 years has questioned whether’maybe we are alone’ when it comes to the abuse and discrimination directed to Black footballers.
The abuse was directed towards black players during and after his time at Liverpool, with the abuse even being witnessed by visiting journalists.
The abuse, which he experienced as a Black youngster at Sheffield Wednesday, included being spat at, spat on, threatened with a knife and having bottles and cans thrown at him.
Jude Bellingham, a former footballer for Liverpool and for Sheffield Wednesday, says it has been a ‘privilege’ to play football for a club where racism remains a problem.
He said: ‘We were probably the only Black group of boys at Sheffield Wednesday in the 1970’s. I wouldn’t say it was the only, but there was the one Black boy and that was quite a lot.
‘It was a privilege to have played football for one of the clubs where it wasn’t really a problem. I’m pleased about that.
‘I know it’s a privilege to have played at a club where they didn’t have any problems of racism – but they’ve had problems.
‘There must be so many of them! I’m not saying there isn’t and not saying there are – but it’s been a privilege to play football at a club where they didn’t have any problems of racism.’
In 2009, during Bellingham’s playing career at Liverpool, he was racially abused by some Liverpool supporters when he went to replace Kevin Keegan for a game.
The abuse, he said, caused him ‘tremors’ on his back and ‘you get feelings in your stomach’.
He said: ‘I don’t think it takes much to put people off you and they don’t like you being Black.
‘They just think it looks like racism and that’s what they do.
‘I wasn’t worried if they were going to put me in the bin because they didn’t.
‘I didn’t do anything. I’m in front so they didn’t see my bag or anything.
‘I suppose I shouldn’t have got out the