West Brom star Peter Odemwingie has vowed to support the Kick It Out campaign against racism despite the doubts of some high-profile stars.
The striker’s comments came as he opened a national exhibition called the Out of Africa Campaign, which debuted at The Public gallery last night.
Former Baggie Jason Roberts and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinanc caused controversy by deciding not to wear T-shirts supporting the campaign, saying it has not done enough to tackle racism in football.
Their decisions came after England U21s 1-0 victory against Serbia earlier this month was marred by abuse and violence, including some allegedly directed at England full back Danny Rose, which sparked his eventual sending off.
Odemwingie, Albion’s top scorer for the past two seasons, however, said he will wear a T-shirt during the away clash against Newcastle United on Sunday.
The Nigerian forward endured racist chants at his former club Lokomotiv Moscow. He said: “The campaign is doing a good job and this is my way to show my support. I have had my own bad experiences but I’m thankful I don’t feel like a victim everyday.
“Sometimes it hurts me to see bad things happening, but I still want to show my support.”
He would not be drawn on his own opinion of the scenes which dominated the headlines after England’s U21s fixture.
The exhibition pays homage to African stars who have graced the English game, beginning with Ghanaian star Arthur Wharton who plied his trade with Preston North End over 100 years ago and is widely regarded as the first black professional footballer.
The exhibition also has pictures and profiles dedicated to more modern icons including South African Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe, and the stars of today in Emmanuel Adebayor, of Togo and Tottenham Hotspur.
Black Country favourites also feature, including DR Congo and Albion star Youssouf Mulumbu, Cameroon and Wolves man George Elokobi, who is currently on loan at Bristol City.