Victoria Leggett, Education correspondent
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Two top Canaries today urged Norfolk school children to keep their cool in the face of racism – and report it to an adult every time it happens.
First team Norwich City players Simeon Jackson and Jonny Howson fielded questions from hundreds of youngsters at a Show Racism the Red Card event at Carrow Road.
But while the charity behind the campaign said it was aware of some racist incidents in Norfolk, particularly targeted at travellers and migrant workers, the footballers told the audience they had never experienced racial abuse as players in Norwich.
Jackson said: “I’ve been lucky enough to not have any of that abuse or anything said to be me since I have been playing football.”
Yesterday’s event, run jointly by Norfolk County Council and the club, involved students from six Norfolk schools.
The pupils took part in a series of workshops and listened to police talk about hate crime before getting a chance to ask Jackson and Howson about their views.
Many were keen to find out what the players would do if they encountered racism.
Howson said: “If you did react, whether it’s physically or verbally, you might not be going to their standards but you are giving them the reaction they want.
“It’s not going to help the situation and you may find yourself in a worse position than you did at the start.”
Jackson added: “I was in a situation before where I heard someone mention something about someone else’s culture. Because I was young I didn’t know how to react to it.
“ I thought I would just ignore it but I probably should have said something. Do say something. Everyone can play a role in helping to stop it.”
For more, see tomorrow’s paper.