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No Room For Racism

Ferguson: Diversity is our soul

19 Oct 2021
CC

Defender says Crystal Palace dressing room's inclusive nature helps when talking about racism

As part of our ongoing No Room For Racism initiative, we are running a series of Youth Voices films, where young people on Premier League community and academy programmes chat with first-team players about discrimination, equality and allyship.

Crystal Palace

Having a diverse and inclusive dressing room that talks about difficult issues is crucial for Nathan Ferguson to feel supported and valued.

"We speak about racism a lot very openly in our team," the Palace defender says. "As our team, as our squad, we are here to support each other.

"It doesn't matter about the colour of your skin or how you speak. We respect you all at all times.

"Diversity is our soul. We have so many different types of people in our team. They come from different places, different religions, have different styles of play, different dress senses, but we embrace everyone's differences."

'Report any abuse'

Ferguson and his father, Christopher, a teacher, spoke with four Palace For Life Foundation participants who are taking part on the Premier League Inspires programme about their experiences of racism and the best ways of dealing with it.

"It's very important that when you experience any form of racial abuse, you try and find someone who you trust that you can maybe talk to report the incident to," says Christopher.

"The natural thing for us to do as human beings is to react but my advice to you is not to react.

"Always remember that racism is a criminal offence. And if you report any incident, it will be dealt with through the law."

'Be strong mentally'

And in an important message to the younger generation, Ferguson referred back to the sense of pride that his parents instilled in him when he was younger.

"My mum and dad always told me to be strong mentally," he says. "Don't be quiet, always speak out.

"Don't be afraid, because the colour of your skin is not a crime. In fact, you're actually a blessing to the world. So you need to remember that."

Ferguson's chat with the Foundation participants will form part of the extensive library of free resources and teaching materials available via Premier League Primary Stars, which explore heritage, discrimination and allyship. 

See: Premier League's No Room For Racism Action Plan

Also in this series

Part 1: Players reinforce there is No Room For Racism
Part 2: Mings: Coady's support vital in fight against racism
Part 3: Dier: Talking is an ideal way to show allyship
Part 5: Lookman: Education is key to phasing out racism
Part 6: Matip: Taking the knee sends important message
Part 7: James: Standing up to discrimination is so important
Part 8: Townsend: Abuse can have a terrible impact
Part 9: Rice: People who are abused should never be alone
Part 10: Kabasele: We cannot give up discrimination fight
Part 11: Chalobah: It's important players set the standards

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