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Woking speak as blackface image of former player appears online

Woking have chosen to speak as a blackface image of a former player appears online via various social media sites.

The photo, which can be seen below, was taken at an end of season event over six years ago as stated by the non league side.

But with there an an ongoing blacklash towards celebrities, programmes and figures in the spotlight for using blackface, a term that comes from the United States of America for a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non-black performers to represent a caricature of a black person, going as far back at 1830.

A statement on behalf of Woking FC and Ben Gerring said: As a club we became aware today that a photograph of Ben Gerring, one of our players last season, is circulating on social media.

The background to this is that 6 years ago, while at a previous club, the team were asked to go to their end of season event as a famous sports figure. Ben was allocated the letter J and went as Michael Jordan, the Basketball legend.

“On moving clubs Ben was made aware this was inappropriate and made a public apology on his social media feed. The matter was considered closed.

“Periodically a screenshot of the image has recirculated on social media – which has happened again in recent days.

“Regardless of the current climate Ben realises how inappropriate this picture was; the mitigating factors were that it was 6 years ago, he was much younger and had no real understanding of the significance of what this meant to the Black community.

“However, Ben accepts this doesn’t change the fact it was wrong. The current climate has only heightened the need for all of us to be committed to listening, learning and improving in our understanding of issues surrounding race.

Photo Credit: tupper.football

They continue to say in their statement: “Ben was a Woking player during the last two seasons. The club has talked at length with Ben and he remains very remorseful for causing offence and has learned from this incident.

Ben again apologises for the photo and all parties are confident nothing of this nature will happen again. As far as is possible copies of the offending photograph have been deleted from social media.

“We are also aware that the Gerring family have been receiving hateful and threatening messages themselves and Woking Football Club will support them in any action to address this through the proper channels.

“Woking Football Club has a very strong record as a community club and takes a strong stance against any instance of racism, discrimination or inequality.

“We will be making no further comment on this matter.”

Fans reacted after National League side Woking speak as the blackface image of their former player appears online…


Alan Barnes: It was a joke what is a matter with people these days.

David Brahney: Bit of fun , no harm intended.

Rob Matthews: So fancy dress is now not allowed?! How many years ago was that image… people need to grow a pair and stopped being fairies offended by absolutely anything… No way at all was he being ‘Racist’ ??‍♂️

Adam Lead: no need to respond. just a load of torquay fans trolling

Alan Barnes: Good job he has not got a statue at the ground.

Gareth Griffiths: snowflakes need to get a life ?

Stuart Robertson: An ABSOLUTE Non Story!! What the fuck is wrong with people this days!! Everyone seems to be jumping on the PC bandwagon! Ben Gerring dressed as a sporting Icon years ago….. Happens to be a different colour to him so he’s made a decent attempt to look the part. No harm and I’m 100% certain when he was getting ready….. He was thinking of having a good night out with mates/colleagues…… Not thinking “oh ill dress up like this to offend people and show I’m a racist!“ Absolute bollocks. Anyone seen the film ‘White Chicks’?? Funny film and I certainly don’t get offended by 2 coloured actors dressing up as white people…. Just saying

Mark A Jonesy: to many snowflakes that’s what’s wrong

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