The United boss also voiced his criticism of Reading’s Jason Roberts who has stated his intention of boycotting the campaign with his refusal to wear the shirt due to his belief that footballing authorities are not taking the issue seriously enough.
Roberts said earlier this week,
“I find it hard to wear a T-shirt after what has happened in the last year. I won't wear one.”
But Ferguson has responded, along with Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, in his belief that Roberts’ protest is counter-active to the issue.
“I have to disagree with Jason Roberts, he is making the wrong point. Everyone should be united, all the players in the country wearing the top, the warm-up tops.”
Ferguson not only stated his disagreement with Roberts’ stance but also criticized the player for singling himself out.
“I do not know what point he is trying to make or trying to put himself on a different pedestal to everyone else.”
Some might argue that Roberts’ decision is his own to make and that he has the right to express his opinion on the issue. Whether his refusal to wear the shirt ultimately damages the credibility of the campaign, remains to be seen but Ferguson believes it may be detrimental to the cause.
"He really should be supporting all the rest of the players who are doing something. If you are doing something then everyone who believes in it should do it together, we should not have sheep walking off. He is making the wrong message.”
Roberts will be the only player not to be wearing the shirt this weekend. I tend to, on this matter, disagree with Ferguson. I believe the anti-racism campaign is a great way to further the fight against racism and, more over, bring attention to the issue which has reared it’s ugly head so often recently.
However, I have to admire Jason Roberts for taking a stand because I agree with him that the footballing authorities are not doing enough. The FA’s decision to ban John Terry was a gesture – but one couldn’t help but feel they had to be seen to be doing something. The four-match ban and fine really doesn’t send a strong enough message for my liking. And a shirt is just a shirt, ultimately.
Most fair-minded individuals are against racism in general – and in our society it is criminal. When players wear shirts with an anti-racism slogan, that’s a message of intent. But actions speak louder than words, and Jason Roberts’ actions this weekend are likely to send a more powerful message to the FA that they need to do more to ‘kick it out’ – they have to actually ‘kick it’, not just say the words.