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Football expert talks about how the sport simply isn’t doing enough to tackle racism

Football expert talks about how the sport simply isn’t doing enough to tackle racism

11 March 2022

The current state of racism in football and lack of diversity in its management were two of the important topics raised by Robbie Lyle in Westminster’s recent John Locke Lecture, as he opened up about his unique experience in reaching the top.

The subject of many a meme and somewhat of a viral sensation, founder and presenter of Arsenal Fan TV Robbie Lyle is known for his passion for football, having hosted Amazon’s Robbie Lyle – Football Fans Under Their Skin and Channel 4’s The Real Football Fan Show. As a black supporter and someone who has experienced racism in the world of football himself, he is a key advocate for change within the sport.

In his talk to Westminster pupils, Robbie spoke candidly about his personal journey in football and starting his own business, and the importance of being consistent and acting with purpose, stressing the point that when a person encounters a challenge, they must rise to it in order to succeed. Pupils were encouraged to reflect on the need for diversity in top-level football and to think about what can be done to help the sport become more inclusive. With football being such a strong influence in geopolitics, it is crucial that it is truly representative.

Pupils were overjoyed to be part of Robbie’s audience at the School, with so many of them being enthusiastic fans to start. His talk resonated with our Sixth Form spectators, who came away with increased admiration for the man known as ‘Don Robbie’!

Isaac (Sixth Form, HH) reflected on the talk by saying:

“The retelling of (The Don) Robbie Lyle’s journey was inspiring and touching to hear as a big football fan myself. From humble beginnings, the dedication that he and his team put into attending all the games, even ones abroad in very unfamiliar territory, all in order to document and shed a light on the perspective of football fans to the world. Especially in a world where football was dominated by traditional media and of the perspectives of pundits.  Robbie always pushed the idea that football is and always will be for the fans and so built a platform where the fans would have a voice.”

Ecstatic after hearing Robbie talk, Sachin (Sixth Form, AHH)  commented: “I was a great fan of Robbie’s when entering the talk, yet when I left, I had developed a whole new appreciation for his drive and self-belief, his talk demonstrated a very important message for us all.”

Felix (Sixth Form, RR) added: “An insightful and thought-provoking voice that stood in contrast to the normal John Locke talks at the School, giving a pleasing variety to the speakers we have.”


Football expert talks about how the sport simply isn’t doing enough to tackle racism

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