The Experiential Reality of Mixed Heritage British Footballers

Although I am representing the reality of black mixed heritage being closely linked, if not almost the same, to the “full black” experience of British footballers, this does not mean that a black mixed heritage player cannot or should not celebrate his multiracial identity. Of course individuals should define themselves how they want to, and many may prefer to lean toward the whiteness of their heritage and even detest the blackness. This is to be comprehended as personal preference over societal, yet while noting that there are also various social pressures that would influence one’s predilections-both consciously and unconsciously. The contention here is that regardless of one’s personal point of view, British society will deem a black mixed heritage person most often as “nonwhite” and therefore the person is automatically subjected to the various caprice forms of racism found in the broader society (Small 1992, Christian 2000).

Mark Christian, “Mixing Up the Game: Social and Historical Contours of Black Mixed Heritage Players in British Football,” in Race, Ethnicity and Football: Persisting Debates and Emergent Issues, ed. Daniel Burdsey, (London: Routledge, 2011): 139-140.