Chris Kamara discusses his underactive thyroid diagnosis
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Chris Kamara, 63, has become a household name over the years, having starred as a midfielder for Leeds and Middlesbrough football clubs and later transitioning to a sports pundit for which he has had many memorable moments. But his hugely successful career hasn’t come without hardship, as he revealed internet trolls would have driven him out of his job if he was starting out now.
If I was starting off at Sky now, I probably wouldn’t be working in telly today
The admission follows the fall out of Euro 2020, after players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka and his fellow analysts, including BBC star Alex Scott, suffered vile abuse at the hands of online trolls.
In a recent interview, the sportscaster spoke of his own experience with racism and admitted he’s “very fortunate” to not be on the receiving end of any hate now.
“I suffered racist abuse when I first started playing, but I’m very fortunate, I don’t get any abuse now online,” he said.
“People don’t see me as black or white, or whatever, they just see me as Kammy these days and even if someone disagrees with me there’s thousands who jump to my defence straight away.
“But if I was starting off at Sky now, like I did in 1998 and social media was around then, I probably wouldn’t be working in telly today.”
He went on to discuss Alex, who has fallen victim to countless disgraceful comments recently and throughout her career as a black woman in football.
“I just see the stuff that Alex Scott goes through, and other people starting off in punditry, and I just think these people are actually trying to stop people working,” Kammy added to The Sunday Mirror.
“When I started off I wasn’t a household name, I’d had a decent playing career, but I wasn’t glittering in terms of trophies and England caps, and if social media existed back then I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.
“During the Euros, I saw pundits getting dogs abuse just for giving their opinion and I just think, ‘These people, where are they coming from?'”
The Euro 2020 final sparked national outcry after Rashford, Sancho and Saka were subjected to a torrent of abuse following their missed penalties.
An outpour of love from millions of people across the UK attempted to renounce the hatred of the few, but a lot more still needs to be done to tackle racism.
Speaking about the racism shown to players, the Sky Sports star said: “I couldn’t get my head round it.
“What has the colour of your skin got to do with taking a penalty? It’s absolutely nothing to do with it. It just doesn’t make sense.
“It’s not just black people who are saddened by this, it’s white people and every colour, who are saddened that racism still exists in 2021 and that some people still judge you by the colour of your skin.”
Over the past few years, there have been calls for social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram to vet their signing-up process and ask users to provide ID, as anonymity allows for online abuse to flow freely without consequences for the people behind it.
Chris stated that the companies need to “sort this out”, noting they have a “responsibility” to keep their other users safe from abuse.
“If you register to go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever, you should have to give your details to show who you are, exactly the same as to get a passport or to vote or whatever. We need to see who these people are,” he said.
This has also been backed by other celebrities, such as Piers Morgan, who have rallied for change.
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