Ruud Gullit says it is now or never in fight against racism in exclusive interview with The Football Show
Last Updated: 10/06/20 5:30pm
Ruud Gullit has launched an impassioned plea for football to spearhead a “revolution on racism” that establishes diversity at the highest level of the game.
The former Netherlands international, who played and managed Chelsea in the 90s, denounced the violent aspects of recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations that have come in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in the United States but expressed his full support for the movement to bring about substantial change.
“The moment has come where people have had enough, it has to change,” the 57-year-old told Sky Sports. “This cannot be forgotten in three months, it’s now or never.
“The people are getting really angry, and they have the right to be angry. But we don’t want the looting or fighting, people have to stand up together.
“We are all human, we have to think like that. There has to be universal love for all people, that is the only thing that needs to be changed in people’s mentality.
“A lot of white people don’t understand what it is like to be treated differently because they have never been in touch with it. For a lot of people, it is difficult to understand, but it is also necessary for people to understand.
“The black community aren’t taking it anymore, and they are right not to take it anymore. Of course you don’t want violence, but things haven’t changed and something drastic has to happen, almost like a revolution.
“The black community are afraid that despite everyone talking about it now, things will go back to normal and nothing will have changed.
“We are fed up. I am half black and half white, I look black and I feel the same as a lot of people. I understand both sides, but change has to come, and this is the moment to do so.
“A lot of people feel the same way, even if they have never felt racism close to them, and I think this is the moment something can be changed.”
Gullit has challenged football as whole, and influential figures in the white community, to use their platforms to drive a revolution that will see more people from minority ethnic backgrounds represented across society.
“If you go to big organisations like FIFA, UEFA, the FA or the federation in Holland, the top levels, there are no black people there,” he said.
“I don’t want people to be taken to a big organisation because they are black, I want people to be taken because they are good.
“Give people the opportunity to do something, and if they are not good, take them out. That’s the only thing people want, nothing else.”
Gullit added: “And, of course, football can be a part of that because we have television and a lot of attention. It’s time to say and do something about it because I don’t want to be the person to say something all of the time.
“I want Boris Johnson to say something about it. I want people with influence in the white community to say something about it and do something about it.”