Tyrone Mings leads English football’s fight for equality as Aston Villa star claims appointment of black FA chairman would symbolise ‘huge step’ forward
- Tyrone Mings played a role in developing the FA’s Leadership Diversity Code
- FA chairman Greg Clarke resigned after a disastrous parliamentary appearance
- Mings believes progress will be made if the first black chairman is appointed
- The Aston Villa and England man said Clarke’s comments were unacceptable
Tyrone Mings believes the appointment of the first black FA chairman would represent major progress in the fight for equality.
The England international played an integral role in developing the FA’s historic Leadership Diversity Code — which was launched two weeks ago — and has been at the forefront of football’s fight against racism.
And following the resignation of FA chairman Greg Clarke for his disastrous parliamentary appearance in which he referred to ‘coloured footballers’, Mings said: ‘Of course it would be a huge step (if a black man or woman was appointed FA chairman).
Tyrone Mings believes the appointment of the first black FA chairman would represent major progress in the fight for equality
FA chairman Greg Clarke resigned following his disastrous parliamentary appearance in which he referred to ‘coloured footballers’
‘It would be everything that a lot of people have worked for, a lot of people more senior than me, a lot of people who have been fighting for this cause for a lot longer than myself.
‘But ultimately that isn’t what we’re asking for — we’re not necessarily asking for the next chairman or chief to be black, what we’re asking for is equal opportunities for black and white people or ethnic minorities.
‘For the opportunities to be equal, the candidates themselves need to be rightly qualified for the job because I don’t think anyone would want the job, whether you were black or white, if you weren’t qualified for it.
‘So we are not necessarily asking for that as a sign of, ‘We’ve made it now’ or ‘That’s what we’re fighting for’, what we are really asking for are equal opportunities for everybody to have a fair crack of the whip.’
Clarke has been a staunch supporter of Paul Elliott being elected on to the FA’s official board
The FA, during Clarke’s tenure, have fought hard to make English football more inclusive.
Clarke has been a staunch supporter of Paul Elliott being elected on to the FA’s official board, and also played a key role in establishing the Diversity Code.
Nevertheless, Mings acknowledges that the departing chairman’s remarks were simply unacceptable.
The Aston Villa star added: ‘I don’t think there’s any excusing it and I wouldn’t sit here and try to defend something because of the fact he came out and apologised.
Mings acknowledges that the departing chairman’s remarks were simply unacceptable
‘I think he knows he’s done wrong, I think he knows he fell short of what he should know and I think that’s what we’re asking for really — that you understand the world we’re living in and understand what you can and can’t say.
‘That phrase may have been acceptable once upon a time but with what is going on, the world highlights even more than I can, more than what the code can or players or staff, that we still have a long way to go. There is no shame in that.
‘I know I’ve said it before and people say, ‘Education, education, education’ but what does that mean or look like?
‘Education is not just the generations coming through, we don’t just have to educate our kids on the society of today or what you can and can’t say.
‘But also people in Greg’s position, who have lived in different cultures and different times from what we are living in at the moment.’
The Aston Villa and England defender admits there is still a long way to go to eradicate such comments