Bloomberg News

Anti-Racism Activist Elliott Quits English F.A. Over Comments

February 23, 2013

Paul Elliott, an anti-racism activist and former soccer player, has resigned from his roles with England’s Football Association over “discriminatory abusive comments” he made.

Elliott, whose career included stints at Charlton, Aston Villa and Chelsea, made the comments to former business partner and ex-Charlton player Richard Rufus, English soccer’s governing body said in a statement on its website. Both men are black.

F.A. Chairman David Bernstein said Elliott’s position with the organization was “untenable” after the incident. Elliott was a member of the F.A. judicial panel and also a nominated member of committees to European soccer governing body UEFA, the F.A. said.

Elliott, 48, also resigned from Kick It Out, the soccer anti-racism group said in a statement on its website.

“Earlier this week, a former friend and business colleague made public a SMS text message I sent him, in which I used a term which is widely known as being derogatory to my own community,” Elliott said in the statement. “I regret using it, it is inappropriate and not part of my everyday vocabulary.

“As an advocate of high-standards of public behavior, and integrity in public life, I know the use of this word sends out mixed messages and contradicts my position as a Kick It Out trustee. I will continue to be active in other projects in what I believe to be a true and just cause.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.


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