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Jobi McAnuff - Footballer

Jobi McAnuff - Footballer'People tend to see me as black, but there's a big difference between black and mixed-race.'

Crystal Palace 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.'

We agree Jobi and thanks for being one of the first to speak up. If you'd like to learn more about Jobi Mcanuff click here to visit his official website:





Source:The Observer

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