Norwich City academy player Harry Brooke, who began his footballing journey in London, pens his thoughts on Black History Month and the importance of tackling racism in society.
It is important if you witness racism, that you bring it up.
I started playing football in London and by the age of 11, I had been scouted for Millwall and I played there until I was 16. I remember one incident from an under-16 match that I was playing in where it was apparent that one of my teammates had been racially abused.
It was traumatising for the player. Some players handle these situations differently and can just brush it off, but for others it can have a massive affect on them. It gets into the player’s head and they cannot concentrate on the game that they are playing in.
I think in that moment, it is also important to ask how the person, who has been the victim of that racist comment, is. It is important to check that they are okay and maybe try to calm them down if they are looking to get into a confrontation.
I don’t think people who are giving out racial abuse should be allowed to get away with it, so it is also important to speak up, report the incident and to call the police.
I don’t think anybody should be discriminated against for the colour of their skin. I think everybody should be treated equally, as we are all human at the end of the day. What counts is what you are as a person and the values that you show and for someone to racially abuse someone else, I think is disgraceful. It is disgraceful that people are allowed to get away with it and we have to change that, not just in football but everywhere in society.