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An important conversation on racism in football: Paul Canoville x Callum Hudson-Odoi

“There’s got to be a massive change. We keep saying it day in day out...”

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This video is part of a promotional campaign (and yet so much more than just an ad) from Beats by Dr. Dre called “You Love Me”, which celebrates Black culture and resilience, and calls attention to the continuing problem of racism in sports, in entertainment, in society, in the world.

Beats is also an official partner of Chelsea Football Club, which gives us the opportunity to listen to the one and only Paul Canoville — if you haven’t read his book, Black and Blue, you most definitely should — and future superstar Callum Hudson-Odoi share their thoughts on racism past, present, and (hopefully not) future.

“There’s got to be a massive change. We keep saying it day in day out, we’ve got to change something in football because you don’t want to feel that kind of way about anything. Whether it’s in the stadium and you’re hearing racist abuse, or you’re on social media and you’re seeing racial abuse — you shouldn’t be hearing that at all. Our skin colour should never affect football.”

-Callum Hudson-Odoi

As part of the campaign, Hudson-Odoi also sat down for an interview with GQ, where he talks about his chat with King Canners, and about a few more mundane football topics, like playing in empty stadiums, dealing with VAR, or learning from Frank Lampard.

You should read this as well.

Great to see Callum “using his voice” and “his platform”, as Canoville puts it in the conversation, to help effect change in the world. It’s something that young footballers seem to be doing with greater frequency and greater visibility these days, including but certainly not limited to Marcus Rashford, Reece James, and Mason Mount.

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