Who is Anton Ferdinand?

Anton Julian Ferdinand is a retired English footballer who most recently played as a center-back for St Mirren. He came through West Ham United’s youth system. And has also played for Queens Park Rangers, Sunderland, Bursaspor, Antalyaspor, and Reading. He’s represented England at the under-21 level. Ferdinand announced his retirement from professional football in July of this year.

Anton Ferdinand take on racism in sports

Ferdinand has always spoken out against racism in sports, particularly ‘institutional racism,’ which has become the standard in modern sports culture. Racism appears to be an obvious aspect of abuse because there are numerous races that play one sport on a team. Ferdinand has also spoken about it on a number of occasions at various venues.

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Ferdinand also shared the years of racial abuse he has received online and in stadiums. Also, how it has affected his mental health. Following an allegation of racial abuse directed at Ferdinand during a match against Queens Park Rangers in November 2011. John Terry was placed under investigation by the police. The Crown Prosecution Service charged Terry with using racial comments. Not only that but for the second time, he was removed from the England captaincy.

Anton Ferdinand exclusive interview with PTV sports

Anton recently sat down with Altamish Jiva on Pakistan Television Sports on the topic of racism, and how it is eroding not just the sporting system, but also the spirit of athletes owing to mental health difficulties.

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The Azeem Rafiq racism scandal

Ferdinand expressed his thoughts about Azeem Rafiq’s racism in English cricket. He recognized that speaking up about racial abuse will not only reduce it but will also help future generations.

Looking back: In a September 2020 interview with ESPN Cricinfo, Azeem Rafiq said that “institutional racism” at Yorkshire County Cricket Club had driven him to contemplate suicide. During his tenure at the club, Rafiq claims he was subjected to a barrage of abuse, including discriminatory remarks about his Pakistani origin.

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Ferdinand’s take on racism in football

Furthermore, Anton Ferdinand shared that he knows football. However, diversity and hierarchy are nowhere to be found. He says “When you look at the football pitch compared to the hierarchy that the boardrooms the senior management level, and the decision-making table it doesn’t mirror the football pitch.” He reiterated, “I think when that starts to happen in football then we will see the changes we really want to see.”

On a lighter note, Anton discussed his time at the West Ham Youth Academy and the present state of English football. Anton described the encounter as “amazing.” Seeing young players go on the attack leaves an indelible impression. Furthermore, he stated that “I just wish I was coming through this era because the defense ain’t quite like the same it was when I was playing.”

West Ham performance

About the West Ham performance for the season, Anton shared his excitement and happiness. He said, “It is beautiful, it is beautiful… you can see on my face.”

He further said, “The fact that when you look at a league and the fact that we have beaten all the big teams this year. The fact that Arsenal is thinking that this is the big game. That’s brilliant!” He also said that seeing what West Ham is doing in terms of the progression in the Europa League and winning our group, sitting fourth is fantastic.

He concluded that the team has togetherness now which was not seen before. The team has galvanized and not taking any chances to lose! And they might be establishing themselves as a football club about finishing European places.

Watch the full interview here:

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