Ex-Latics ace Roberts speaks out on racism

Jason Roberts in his Wigan days
Jason Roberts in his Wigan days

FORMER Latics star Jason Roberts spoke emotionally last night of a career marred by racist abuse.

The striker was interviewed for Channel 4’s Dispatches for an episode about racial discrimination in football.

Roberts, who has played for several teams during his years as a professional, was careful not to point the finger at any one club, including Wigan.

However, his testament suggested that there had been little escape wherever he went.

He said: “I’ve heard it on Sundays as a young man, I’ve heard it non-league, I’ve heard it in Division 2, Division 1, Championship and I’ve heard it in the Premier League. I’ve had it from people in the street, I’ve had it from team-mates, I’ve had it from managers, I’ve had it from coaches, I’ve had it from crowds. I have had monkey chants inthe last two, three years.

“The frustration is that we all know it’s happening, we all know where it’s happening.

“I can tell you at certain clubs, certain places exactly where in a crowd you’re going to get racial abuse from. It’s been the same when I started and it’ll be the same now.”

Latics spokesman Ed Jones said: “We consider Jason a veritable club legend, part of the team that brought us up into the Premiership.

“We always had terrific relations with him and he never complained to us about racist incidents on or off the field.

“But we totally respect his stance against one of those diminishing evils of the game.

“As a club we have always backed the Kick It Out campaign.”