Black History Month
Black History Month is about recognising the important contributions that the Black communities have added to football & wider society.
GFA Match Official, Theo Gordon spoke to us about what Black History Month means to him.
“Black history to me is a lifetime experience, not just a month. I got into refereeing because as a coach of the game I wanted to give back to the sport but I also noticed there weren’t many black referees on the local circuit.
"I wanted to inspire and show young black players that they can also give back to the game by becoming a referee as well.
"Since becoming a referee, I’ve had to deal with racial slurs and abuse, not many but it has happened. I made sure those comments and abuse doesn't stop me from the main goal of why I became a coach and referee.
"I think it’s important we have more representation from the black community in refereeing and the way to do that is to lead and inspire the younger generation who are still playing and enjoying the game. In most games I attend I get comments like, “it’s good to see a black ref”, “not many guys on the scene" and my personal favourite, “thank you for doing what you’re doing”.
"Football has a lot of black players, but not enough black officials. Teams will automatically feel completely different when they see a referee of their kind, it puts them at ease and gives some form of reassurance or confidence, they almost feel like they won’t be misunderstood or judged or treated differently to their possibly white-dominated opposition.
"I have had tremendous support from the Leagues and the GFA in my journey as a referee.
"The process and getting started were easy, but what has made the journey successful, is the ongoing support."