Former Norwich sporting director denounced for ‘callous’ remarks about black footballers | Norwich City

Stuart Webber, the former Norwich sporting director, has been accused of “racial profiling” and “lazy stereotyping” after suggesting a group of black footballers he worked with might have ended up in jail had they not forged careers in the game.

In an interview with Norfolk local newspaper the Pink Un, Webber, who has also been the sporting director at Huddersfield and worked as head of recruitment at Liverpool, said: “We want to help the guys who really need it, not the ones who are maybe privileged.

“I saw that with our young footballers. Jonny Rowe wouldn’t mind me saying it but him, Abu Kamara, Max [Aarons], Jamal [Lewis], Raheem [Sterling] back in the day at Liverpool, where they come from it had to work out for them in football, because the alternative is potentially jail or something else.”

Kick It Out, the anti-racism body, said in a statement: “The comments made by former Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber where he has resorted to racially profiling several players in an interview are deeply offensive and concerning.

“To read such callous language being used by someone who until recently was a senior executive at the top of the English game paints a very damning picture. Resorting to lazy stereotyping is clearly upsetting for those who have been targeted, but also shows a complete lack of respect for their families, who have played a huge part in the journeys that the players have been on.”

It is understood that Webber has either apologised or made approaches to the players he named in the interview but had not been in contact with the complete list by Sunday afternoon. The Guardian understands the named “players and their families are outraged to say the least”. Webber has been contacted for comment.

On Saturday, Rowe, the Norwich forward, had told the Guardian of his pride in coming from the same Wembley neighbourhood as Sterling. Rowe said of the Chelsea player. “He’s the person that everyone looks to as someone that made a way in my area.”

Webber, part of the Liverpool recruitment operation that signed a teenage Sterling from QPR in 2010, gave the interview to the Pink Un to publicise a charity climb of Mount Everest. The venture seeks to raise money to fund local youngsters seeking a career in sport.

skip past newsletter promotion

Max Aarons’ mother, Amber, wrote on X: “I’m shocked at Stuart Webber’s casual racism and blatant disrespect for all of these black players and their families. Catriona Lewis, mother of Watford’s Jamal, also commented “That’s not true at all … very unprofessional comment to make!!! How can that assumption be made Stuart???”

Webber left Norwich in 2023 after six years with the club. Before roles at QPR and Wolves, he served as director of recruitment at Liverpool, working with managers Rafael Benítez and Kenny Dalglish.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Back To Top