lucyweiweiwei: Until now I haven’t felt the need to speak publicly about what happened

Until now I haven’t felt the need to speak publicly about what happened

Aug 23 2017 at 03:51
Why is it so important to you, after everything that has come out, to tell your side of Authentic Curley Culp Womens Jersey the story in response?Until now I haven’t felt the need to speak publicly about what happened. One, the terms of my agreement with the Football Association meant I wasn’t able to speak about the facts of the case unless they became public and, two, I didn’t think it was needed because I had been trying to move on and put it behind me.I was shocked when it came out. I’d kept it confidential for a long time. This whole debacle was very unexpected for me and after the last week, seeing a lot of half-truths, a lot of misrepresentations and a lot of insinuations that I have pretty much been lying, I think it is time for me to say: ‘Look, these are the facts, these are what my claims are – ie discrimination, victimisation, bullying – and explain the truth. My mum always says to me that ‘the quietest person in the room is often the wisest’ and I think there has been a lot of noise from the Football Association. A lot of: ‘panic, panic, panic … put this out, put this out …’ I have no need to lie. And I haven’t needed to bow to pressure to speak and panic because I know the truth.
This all started because the FA asked you in May 2016 to take part in a ‘culture review’, is that correct?The letter from Dan Ashworth [the FA technical director] said they wanted me to be part of this exercise as an ‘iconic England player’. They felt I was in a position, after 11 years on the England team, to speak about the culture. For many years I’d been a mouthpiece for the FA. If you look on YouTube you will see an interview with me for Show Racism the Red Card, wearing an England shirt on behalf of the FA. I know I would never have participated in an exercise like that [the culture review] and lied. Yet the irony is that lying would have saved me. If I had been untruthful we wouldn’t be having this conversation. To have said ‘everything’s hunky-dory, everything’s fantastic, I’ve had two great years with [the England women’s team manager] Mark Sampson and the culture’s great’ would have saved me. Telling the truth was more risky but I told the truth because I thought it was confidential. I trusted the FA.
As well as your complaints about alleged bullying and discrimination by Mark Sampson, your report to the FA included an account of what happened to a mixed-race team-mate (we are going to call her ‘The Player’ as she has asked not to be named) at the China Cup in October 2015. Can you take us through the specifics?It was a midfielders’ meeting. I was not in that meeting but the player in question has confirmed it and I have Adidas Authentic Andrew MacDonald Youth Jersey records of our conversation on the day the comment was made. We have spoken about it many times – that they were talking about the game, about pressing, when Mark Sampson made an analogy about getting a caution, like a police caution. Mark then addressed her individually and said: ‘You’ve been arrested before, haven’t you? Four times, isn’t it?’ He didn’t say it to anybody else. It was said to her alone, the only mixed-race player in the room. Every other player was white. She confirmed she felt extremely uncomfortable. I believe that question was directed towards her because she’s mixed race. And I also believe he has made comments to me that, again, have been because of race.Can you elaborate if there is a particular incident you mean?We were in the hotel before the Germany game [in November 2014]. Everybody was excited. It was a big game. On the wall there was a list of the family and friends who were coming to watch us and I just happened to be next to Mark. He asked me if I had anyone who would be there and I said I had family coming over from Nigeria. ‘Oh,’ he said. ‘Nigeria? Make sure they don’t bring Ebola with them.’
I remember laughing but in a very nervous way. I went back to my room and I was really upset. It might have been easier to take if it was about me alone. Lots of things had been said about me over those two years but this was about my family. I called my mum and she was absolutely disgusted.Initially I didn’t put it in my report [to the FA] because I didn’t feel I could prove it and I didn’t want to make any accusations based on something I couldn’t prove. Subsequently, however, I found the text messages where I had talked to The Player about it. There was one where I wanted her Men'sAdidasMiamiHeat#4JoshMcRobertsSwingmanBlackRoadNBAJersey to know: ‘You know what, it’s not only you, it’s happened to me, too.’ I’d told her what he had said. She said: ‘Wow, that is unacceptable.’ That’s subsequently been put to the FA in correspondence [from the Professional Footballers’ Association]. The FA cannot say: ‘This is the first we have been told that Mark Sampson made a statement to Eni Aluko about her family and Ebola.’
I said I had family coming over from Nigeria. ‘Oh,’ Mark said. ‘Nigeria? Make sure they don’t bring Ebola with them.’
Presumably you believe the FA inquiry should have made it a priority to speak to The Player, bearing in mind her obvious importance to the case?She has put it in writing to confirm it happened. Yet the FA has had two investigations and nobody has been in contact with her. They were having an investigation but they did not bother to speak to the person to whom a comment with racial connotations – in my opinion – was made. I think that’s pretty astonishing. Can you imagine, thinking back to when Roy Hodgson [as manager of the England men’s team] made the comment about the ‘space monkey’, if the FA had an inquiry, clearing him of any wrongdoing, but without bothering to speak to Andros Townsend, the player he was talking to? Well, that’s what has happened in this case.

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