Race row after Sky News Panellist claims Lioness squad 'isn't diverse'08/26/2023
Race row breaks out after Sky News panellist claims England’s World Cup Lioness squad ‘isn’t that diverse’ and is filled with ‘blonde, blue-eyed girls’
- Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones MBE was branded ‘racist’ by furious people online
A race row has erupted after an entrepreneur claimed England’s World Cup Lioness squad ‘isn’t that diverse’ and filled with ‘blonde, blue-eyed’ football stars.
Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones MBE, who claims to be one of Britain’s only black commercial farmers, said the squad was ‘not representative’ of Britain.
His comments, made during a discussion of the Sunday front pages on Sky News, have received backlash online.
Some people have blasted the entrepreneur as ‘racist’, criticising him for not accepting that the ‘best players’ were chosen.
‘I don’t want to pour boiling water on it but it isn’t that diverse’, the farmer said, describing the front page of the Daily Mirror – which featured a host of England stars on its cover.
Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones MBE, who claims to be one of Britain’s only black commercial farmers, said the squad was ‘not representative’ of Britain
England Manager, Sarina Wiegman, comforts England’s Lauren James (left) following their defeat in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final match at Stadium Australia
‘It really sticks out at you. They look blonde and blue-eyed. If it was the men’s World Cup it would be very representative of the Britain that we’re in and very, very diverse.
‘What jumps out at you is that this doesn’t represent diverse Britain. It’s all these blonde blue-eyed girls – and I wish them well – but I do think we need to ask ourselves questions about why it is that there is a lack of diversity.’
He continued: ‘If you could have the men’s team which is very very diverse, why doesn’t that translate to the women’s team?’
READ MORE: Rishi Sunak is mocked for telling Lionesses ‘you left absolutely nothing out there’ in commiseration tweet following their World Cup final defeat – after PM came under fire for not travelling to Australia for the match
But the comments made by the entrepreneur triggered furious reactions on social media.
Chris Rose tweeted: ‘It’s disappointing but predictable to see comments like this about the Women’s England team.
‘Could it not be possible that the best have been chosen? Other countries have football teams with similar levels of diversity but aren’t criticised for it.’
Another added: ‘Disgusting racist rhetoric. You choose sports teams based on SKILL not on skin color. If you pick players based on skin color, YOU ARE RACIST.’
While a third person tweeted: ‘Oh god! Please! Teams are based on talent not color!’
The entrepreneur set up the Black Farmer Scholarship, which aims to help and encourage ethnic minorities to work in the rural community – an under-represented area. He was appointed an MBE in 2020 for his services to British farming.
The entrepreneur set up the Black Farmer Scholarship, which aims to help and encourage ethnic minorities to work in the rural community – an under-represented area. He was appointed an MBE in 2020 for his services to British farming
The comments triggered a furious backlash on social media, with people blasting Mr Jones
Mr Emmanuel-Jones’s comments came before England were defeated by Spain 1-0 in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday.
As the match began, there were jubilant scenes as England’s Lauren Hemp’s stunning shot almost netted the first goal of the match, clipping the crossbar instead.
But moments later, it was horror for the Lionesses as Spain scored the opener, while England fans groaned at the goal.
Then, despite a determined fightback by the Lionesses, it was followed by heartbreak as the final whistle came, signalling the end to England’s hopes of World Cup Glory.
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