Fulham’s PFA Community Player of the Year, Cyrus Christie, has said now is the time for footballers to use their platform for change.
PFA member Christie used his time outside of training to work with the Football Beyond Borders project and the Fulham Foundation. He also took time out during the COVID-19 lockdown to make calls to vulnerable members of the community.
Christie states that he has taken lessons from his own tough upbringing to help others, he told the Mirror: “I’m privileged as a footballer, living my dream job and, for me, it’s creating opportunities for other people who might not feel they get those chances.”
Christie suffered racist abuse as a youngster and has continued to do so during his career but believes that players need to use their platform to encourage social change. “I want to leave a legacy. I don’t think people realise the impact sportspeople can have on others.
“As a footballer, your voice is a lot more powerful than you think.
“A lot come from under privileged backgrounds, they can use their platform to affect things in a positive way.
“This generation struggles to relate to people in power, which is maybe why a footballer’s voice can be more powerful. The main thing is people need to educate themselves on the Black Lives Matter campaign.”
The PFA and CSR
Professional footballers continue to be at the heart of the PFA’s Social Responsibility agenda, in the 2018/19 season there were over 40,000 appearances taking place across the Premier League and EFL clubs.
Each season, all Clubs nominate a PFA Community Champion, celebrating the outstanding contributions made by players, such as Cyrus, who go above and beyond what is expected in support of the Club’s Foundations and social responsibility programmes.