Following an appeal, a ban handed to former Crawley Town manager John Yems for racist and discriminatory behaviour has been extended until 2026.
The appeal also dismissed the original finding that his behaviour was 'unconscious racism'. Despite a ban being handed down following the original hearing earlier this year, the PFA believed the panel's findings excused Yems' language and behaviour, successfully urging the FA to appeal.
PFA Senior EDI Executive Jason Lee, who has supported the members throughout, said:
“The original findings sent a message that those in positions of authority can justify their behaviour if they claim not to understand its impact.
“That should never be accepted. It’s the job of everyone in the game, but particularly those in positions of power, to take responsibility for making sure they are educated.
“It shouldn’t continue to be the job of those who are victims of racism and discrimination to adapt to an environment where it is passed off as banter or joking behaviour.
"It takes bravery for a player to come forward to report issues like this. One of the most significant considerations will be the risk that they will be ignored or that they won’t be taken seriously.
"People might try to persuade players that it's easier for problems to be dealt with 'in-house', but that doesn't address the real issue. A person's behaviour won't change unless they are held to account. Letting it go unchecked and allowing them to just quietly reappear in other roles at other clubs doesn't protect the players.
"This has been a thorough process, but it has been long and demanding on the players involved. We’re aware that’s something that might put players off, so they must know that their union has their back.
"My message to all members is to reach out. This is what the PFA is here to do. You don't just have to put up with this kind of behaviour and we will support you every step of the way."
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