Footballer sues club for race discrimination

A black footballer is suing his former club for race discrimination claiming that black players were treated unfavourably compared to their white team mates.


Discrimination in football

It is a ground breaking case as it is the first time a football club has been sued by a player for race discrimination.

Black players treated differently

Mark McCammon , a Barbados international striker, spent three seasons at Gillingham FC. His appearances were limited due to injury problems but he scored five goals in 52 games before being released.

He says that when he was at Gillingham he noticed three key situations in which the black players were not treated the same as white players.

These were fines and punishments for offences such as missing training, medical treatments and reduction of wages after the club were relegated.

Race discrimination and unfair dismissal

He first lodged a tribunal claim in April 2011 and was released by the club a month later when the season ended.

He is bringing an action for race discrimination and unfair dismissal against Gillingham FC and its Chairman, Paul Scally, who lives in Dubai, McCammon said “I hope the truth will prevail but can’t comment further.”

The Professional Footballers Association tried to mediate the case but were unable to reach agreement. PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: “This is a very unusual case. We had hoped to settle the matter within football but that hasn’t happened on this occasion, so the tribunal will have to resolve it on matters of fact. ”

The club deny the claim

Gillingham FC deny McCammon’s claims. A spokesman for the club said: “The allegations made by Mark McCammon are wholly refuted by the club.

“It would not be appropriate for the club to comment further until the Employment Tribunal hearing has taken place.”