BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Monday, October 10, 2005

SHOW RACISM THE RED CARD: Launch event for 2005 Welsh DVD

left to right: Unknown blonde, Danny Gabidon, Robert Earnshaw, James 'The Ginger Monster' Collins.
This afternoon I went along to the ever so slightly posh Vale Of Glamorgan Hotel for the launch of a DVD for Show Racism The Red Card.

The hotel is temporarily the base of the Welsh international football team, as they hang out waiting for the World Cup (NOT) qualifying game against Azerbaijan on Wednesday. As I walked into the reception, three internationals, Danny Gabidon, Robert Earnshaw and James Collins, all ex Cardiff City players, were being mobbed by kids for autographs. It was nice to see the three of them together, they were part of the team that dragged Cardiff City from the bottom of the league up into the Championship (in old money that’s from the 4th Division up to the 2nd Division.. why do they have to mess with these things all the bloody time?), but they all got sold off last year when the club suddenly found itself a little bit strapped for cash. Earnie is now with West Bromwich Albion in the Premiership (the old 1st Divison) while Gabby and The Ginger Monster are now both with West Ham, also in the Premiership.

I then made my way upstairs to the room where the launch was taking place. The event kicked off with a screening of the DVD then kids from some local schools we given an opportunity to ask questions of a host of internationals who are so famous I cannot remember their names, except for Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs, probably the biggest name on the Welsh team. John Tosahck sat back and let his boys get on with it.

The kids all seemed to be asking the same question without realising it (bless ‘em), which was basically “have you ever been a victim of racism” asked about ten different ways. There were a number of players giving their answer, including Giggs, who although he looks white comes from a mixed race background. Most of the answers were pretty predictable until one of the lads recalled the schoolyard and giving racists a bit of a slap. It was pointed out to the kids that this was good advice, but sadly this is sometimes overlooked in our politically correct society.

Show Racism The Red Card are doing some good work with schools and these high profile events are good to raise awareness among kids but there was a little bit of me that was thinking that all this black slapping is all well and good but at the end of the day it is on the terraces where the work needs to be done.


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