08 June 2020

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes says she encourages players to speak out about racism

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has said she urges players to speak about racism and says conversations surrounding the topic frequently take place at the club.

Hayes was speaking on a conference call after the Football Association ruled The Blues had won the Women’s Super League for a third time.

She said: "Everyday, we talk about those things in our environment. 

“It's absolutely clear to players in our team it's about appreciating others, it's about understanding others. It's not about everybody always agreeing with each other but it's about listening. It's about acceptance.”

Hayes’ comments came after Chelsea defender Anita Asante said on Instagram women’s sporting bodies haven’t spoken out about racism. 

Asante said: "I feel like I haven’t seen any major statements made by those entities.

“At the same time, I’m almost like don’t do it if you don’t believe it, because I don’t want a token gesture either. But if you’re going to do it, put some objectives and targets behind it.”

Hayes added she and Asante have spoken about the topic often.

“I've known Anita Asante a long time, and Neetz and I would have several conversations about a lot of subjects and, like I always say, this is not a subject about race, this is a subject about human rights,” Hayes said.

"And this is something that's important to everyone, and one which I'm certain will continue to be a conversation in the dressing room.

"Listen to what people are saying and reflect on yourself and your behaviours, alter where you need to. Get educated if you need to, and understand that it's an important time to take a backseat and listen to what everybody has to say."

She added the club are ’committed to equality’ and they ’share the concerns’ of protesters around the world.

"It’s a situation that I think was bubbling away and, quite rightly, because black lives do matter.

"I think it’s brought to the forefront the importance of tolerance and acceptance and importantly to be educated about how people are experiencing their lives and how we have to be even more conscious of the things we do on a day-to-day basis to take into consideration the feelings of others."

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