tend to see me as black, but there's a big difference between black
winger Jobi McAnuff grew up in north London with his Jamaican father
and English mother. Jobi celebrates his fluid identity, but he admits
that in football there are racial cliques. 'From my experience I get
seen as one of the ‘brothers’. You walk into the canteen
and there's a table of black boys and the white boys are up the other
end, but I don't see it as a negative. I'd like to think it's easier
for me to cross between groups, but my white friends at Palace still
see me as black. People only see skin deep and society says I look more
black than white.'
'My mum's side of the family are from Portsmouth. But I don't think many
of the lads at football can imagine me sat round eating a traditional English
roast dinner with my white uncles and aunts. People tend to see me as black,
but there's a big difference between black and mixed-race. I can identify
with Tiger Woods on that.'
Jobi says he feels strongly about the use of the derogatory term half-caste.
'It's something mixed-race people have been labelled as for years,' he
says. 'If you polled a cross-section of society I bet the majority of people
would say half-caste. I don't like the word, but then you get people who
are so used to it they are blind to its offensiveness.' He agrees the term
is common in football. 'All the clubs I've been at I've been called half-caste.
It's routine. I make a point of asking people not to call me it, though.'
Jobi also acknowledges that the media is a vital tool in changing how people
with mixed racial heritage are described. 'I don't think people realise
saying mixed-race would make such a big difference to mixed-race players
like us. The media is powerful. Imagine if they started using it in the
newspapers and on Match of the Day. It would educate people. I think it's
something we could look at.'