Macka B scores against racism

Observer senior writer

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

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On Saturday, Raheem Sterling capped a remarkable season with Manchester City, scoring two goals in the team's 6-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup final. It gave the Jamaica-born striker's team their third trophy of the year, having lifted the English Premier League (EPL) title and the League Cup.

However, his season was not without controversy, as last December he was racially abused by Chelsea fans during an away game at Stamford Bridge. One of the people incensed by that behaviour was deejay Macka B, whose latest song is Kick Racism Out of Football.

The single was released by Chinelo Records one week before the FA Cup decider and hears the veteran toaster hitting out against colour prejudice in British football, a stain many in the United Kingdom believed had been removed for good.

“The Raheem Sterling incident just showed the madness and hypocrisy of the situation. Raheem Sterling did very well in standing up for himself and for other players and because he is such a big name, they had to listen and even more so because they knew what he was saying was true. They gave him a hard time but him rise above it,” Macka B told the Jamaica Observer.

Macka B was born in Wolverhampton to Jamaican parents. That city is home to thousands of people with West Indian heritage, and a number of teams that play in the EPL and lower leagues.

He remembers attending a match 40 years ago directed at dousing the flames of racism at stadiums across the UK.

“In May 1979 as a teenager I was one of the black fans at West Bromwich Albion footballer Len Cantello's testimonial. The infamous 'Blacks vs Whites' football match was between a black team and a white team, all top professionals,” Macka B recalled. “We won 3-2. A BBC documentary has been made about the match. At the time, it was being hailed as a breakthrough moment against racism. As we have seen, after all this time it is still going on, maybe not as much as before but it is still going on, even at children's matches,” he added.

On Kick Racism Out of Football, Macka B salutes pioneer footballers like Clyde Best from Bermuda and Nigeria's Ade Coker, who played for West Ham United in what was then the English Division One. They played in the top-flight during the early 1970s when there was little black presence in the British game.

Macka B (real name Christopher MacFarlane) has tackled racism in song throughout his 30-year career. He said it is disturbing that players like Raheem Sterling are still being targeted because of colour.

“That's why I say Kick Racism Out of Football and salute the black football youths, they have to celebrate the diversity. The black players really have enhanced the game of football. Imagine, the three top scorers in the English Premiership this season are all African,” he noted.

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