Mings: A black FA chairman can be a "huge step"
England defender Tyrone Mings believes it would be a "big step" in the fight for equality if the next chairman of the football association were a black man or woman.
Greg Clarke resigned as chairman of the governing body Tuesday after using the word "colored" among other controversial comments before a committee on digital, culture, media and sports earlier in the day.
The incident came just two weeks after the FA introduced the new diversity code to ensure that more ethnic minority candidates get top jobs.
Mings was involved in creating the code, and Aston Villa's defense attorney said Clarke's comments indicated that "we still have a long way to go and this probably proves it".
When asked what it would mean to have a black man or woman as the next FA chairman, he said, "Of course it would be a big step. That would be it.
"It would be everything that many people have worked for. Many people are older than me. Many people who have fought for this cause much longer than me.
"But in the end, that's not what we're asking for. We're not necessarily asking that the next chairman or boss be black.
"We demand equal opportunities for blacks and whites or ethnic minorities.
"So the chances of being equal to the candidates themselves in order to be properly qualified for the job because I don't think anyone would want the job – whether you were black or white – if you weren't qualified for it and weren't well equipped, to be successful in this role.
"So we are not asking for that as a sign that we have made it now or that we are fighting for it. What we are really calling for is equal opportunities for everyone, quite a crack of the whip."
Mings faced the media ahead of England's friendly against the Republic of Ireland on Thursday at Wembley.
But Clarke's comments understandably dominated the agenda just a day after the FA's latest update on "In Pursuit of Progress" – its three-year strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion.
"Absolutely (the aim is to have more representation at management and coaching level)," added the England international. "I don't think that's bad for the game.
"It's not necessarily the stuff that you can see, it's not necessarily the visual stuff. It's not necessarily the black people who were on the page. It's how they got there.
"It's about the paths they have, it's about the equal opportunities they have to get these jobs. I think that's what we're trying to do with the code, and I think that's really going to get us bring lasting changes. "
Clarke has faced a storm of criticism for making offensive statements. The 63-year-old had to apologize for using the word "colored" to describe black players and implying that being gay was a "life choice".
FA Vice Chairman Peter McCormick, a former Premier League chairman, is stepping up as the FA's interim chairman with immediate effect as they "begin to identify and appoint a new chairman in due course".
Townsend: Football would have failed if Clarke had continued
Kick It Out's Troy Townsend says football would have "failed" if Clarke had stayed as FA chairman.
Townsend, development director for Kick It Out, told Sky Sports News, "Clarke has now alienated the vast majority of the community who would knock on the FA door and ask what you are going to do with the chairman."
“In a short period of time there was so much noise that a decision had to be made. He paid the ultimate price for the language and lazy terminology he continues to use.
"Sometimes being sorry is not enough and it happened on this occasion. If he had continued his job, football would have failed.
"Football would have failed to recognize the representation in the game and recognize those who would have been offended by the comments of the former chairman."
The fa chairman now calls us colored footballers. How will racism end when people like him are at the top?
– Gabriel Agbonlahor (@ officialga11), November 10, 2020
Kick It Out Chair Sanjay Bhandari added, "I was blown away. They poured comment after comment.
"The first comment you hear do you think was 'a slip of the tongue to use the word colored'? But when you start hearing everyone else's comments, it's not about someone playing their part loses because of loose language.
"It's actually about an inappropriate attitude – because what this reveals are attitudes from the Stone Age."
Football Against Homophobia said, "The idea that being gay is a life choice is an outdated concept that many people will find deeply offensive.
"There are some people who use such a statement from the FA chairman to bolster their homophobia."
Sanderson: "Heavy words"
Former England international Lianne Sanderson presented evidence to MPs three years ago in support of teammate Eni Aluko over alleged racist remarks by former manager Mark Sampson.
Following Clarke's resignation, she told Sky Sports News, "This is an issue that I hold dear.
"I often wonder how these people get into these positions in the first place.
"And then we wonder why racism and homophobia are on the rise when we have someone to say there is unconscious racism in the Houses of Parliament (in 2017, when Clarke was asked to discuss racial discrimination in football) & # 39; Fluff & # 39; is and think about that is acceptable.
"I don't think he realizes the gravity of what he's saying."