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PFA’s Jason Lee makes Football Black List

Jason Lee, Equalities Education Executive

Professional Footballers’ Association Equalities and Education Executive Jason Lee has been named a leading practitioner in the 2020 Football Black List, a celebration of the most influential Black people in football. 

Jason is an integral part of the PFA Equalities team who have highlighted several racial disparities in football this year. This includes a landmark PFA-funded study on racial bias in football commentary that found stark differences between the way commentators described players with lighter and darker skin tones. Following the publication of the study's findings, Jason helped train sporting broadcasters across the industry during a PFA and BBC Sport webinar focused on avoiding racial bias. Webinar attendees were made aware of the career-limiting impact racial stereotypes can have on players and encouraged to stop using racially insensitive words and phrases. 

Founded in 2008 by sports journalists Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds, the Football Black List highlights positive Black role models across several different categories in the sport including Administration, Coaching & Management, Community and Media. Several current professional footballers join Jason on the list, under the Cyrille Regis Players category, primarily for their work highlighting pressing social issues. 

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford deservedly makes the list for his tireless campaign against child food poverty in the UK. Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings and Watford striker Troy Deeney appear on the list for their work challenging racial injustice and Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha is commended for his support of NHS workers battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Women feature heavily on the list too, with Crystal Palace Women's goalkeeper, Chloe Morgan, The FA’s Edleen John and Aston Villa Women sporting director Eniola Aluko all receiving mentions. 

The list shines a light on deserving community representatives throughout football, including those at the grassroots level of the game who often go unnoticed. It is compiled by Black community and football industry leaders, who vote independently on nominations made by the public. The panel includes representation from across all football’s major stakeholders, with Head of Equalities Simone Pound representing the PFA. 

Football Black List co-founder Leon Mann said, "The global Black Lives Matter protests have made the game reflect on its own diversity and relationship with Black communities. The Football Black List provides a snapshot of the wonderful contribution the Black community makes to the national sport. We hope it inspires the next generation of Black leaders to follow those listed and the initiative helps encourage the football industry to put diversity at the top of the agenda.”  

All those on the list will receive an award at a soon to be announced online celebration. 

Here is the full Football Black List 2020. 

Cyrille Regis Players: 

Chloe Morgan, Crystal Palace Women 

Marcus Rashford MBE, Manchester United

Troy Deeney, Watford FC Tyrone Mings, Aston Villa

Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace

Administration: 

Edleen John, Director of International Relations, Corporate Affairs and Diversity - The FA Eniola Aluko, Sporting Director - Aston Villa FC Women 

Jade Morgan, General Manager - Leicester City Women 

Les Ferdinand MBE, Director of Football - Queens Park Rangers 

Marie Gabriel CBE, Trustee - West Ham United Foundation

Coaching and Management: 

Alex Dyer, Manager - Kilmarnock FC 

Ashley Bosah & Cornelius Nwadialor, Joint Managers - Tooting & Mitcham FC 

Jason Euell, Under 23 Head Coach - Charlton Athletic FC 

Karleigh Osborne, Women's Head Coach - Brentford FC 

Tony Whelan, Assistant Academy Director - Manchester United

Commercial: 

Ashanti George-Faure, Senior Talent Manager - Refresh Sports 

Faïna Msellem, Sports Industry Advisory Board Member - Birkbeck Sport Business Centre Marvin Morgan, CEO - Fresh Ego Kid 

Nathan Thompson, Commercial Director - West Ham United 

Warren Haughton, Director, Haughton Consultancy

Community and Grassroots: 

Diane Sawyers, Operations Manager - Holford Drive Community Sports Hub

Duke Harrison-Hunter, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer - Pompey in the Community 

Emma Trent, Head of Programmes - Notts County Football in the Community

Harold Bennett, Founder - North London United 

Dr Michael Seeraj, Head of Equality Diversity & Inclusion - Charlton Athletic FC

LGBT+: 

Annette Nelson, Education Lead - Football v Homophobia

Media: 

Carl Anka, Football Reporter - The Athletic 

Charlene Gravesande, Special Projects Journalist - Sky Sports 

Hugh Woozencroft, Sports Broadcaster - talkSPORT 

Jessica Creighton, Sports Reporter - Sky Sports 

Micah Richards, Freelance Broadcaster

Practitioners: 

Hayley Bennett, Founder - WeAreNutmegs 

Jason Lee, Equalities Education Executive - PFA 

Marvin Robinson, CEO - Peterborough United Foundation 

Dr Matt Ogunsanya, Club Doctor - Watford FC

Sam Allison, National Group Referee - PGMOL

The PFA would like to congratulate Jason Lee, the current and former players and all the other worthy football leaders who made this years list.

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