Top anti-racism campaigner Lord Herman Ouseley has described black players boycotting the Kick It Out t-shirt campaign as futile and counter-productive, and called upon the clubs to do more to tackle racism rather than leave it to the players to stand alone.
Sir Alex Ferguson, a staunch supporter of Kick It Out, has taken Man United defender Rio Ferdinand to task for not wearing the t-shirt, while his brother, Anton Ferdinand, and several other high-profile Premier League players also protested at the weekend by not wearing the campaign t-shirts.
Lord Ouseley insists that clubs should demand that their black players wear the t-shirts and join the campaign. The chairman of Kick It Out says that the protests from the Ferdinand brothers, Man City defender Joleon Lescott and several others who joined Reading's centre-forward Jason Roberts in publicly refusing to back the campaign were wasting their time, claiming players wearing the Kick It Out t-shirts, shaking hands with opponents, and respect is the way forward, not headline-catching-boycotts and protests.
He said: "Would Rio tell England where to stick their shirt if picked or does he think the FA has done enough to tackle racism?
"Will he tell Manchester United where to stick their shirt and £150,000-a-week or have they done enough to tackle racism?
"Should we tell women not to support women against rape groups because they have not done enough to stop men raping women?
"Is that the best black footballers can do. That will frighten the powers that be!"