Bella in Year 7 Showing Racism the Red Card

Posted on: 16/07/2021

Bella, Year 7: Interviewed by the BBC at Wembley Stadium

We also caught up with Bella who was interviewed on the BBC after attending the Euros 2021 final last week; she spoke eloquently and passionately about racism in sport and her aspirations for a career in football in the future. You can watch some of her many television appearances here:

BBC Breakfast Twitter

BBC Breakfast with Sally Nugent - Mon 12th July

BBC News Channel with Annita McVeigh  - Mon 12th July

You landed yourself a dream ticket last week – you got to watch the Euros 2021 final! Can you tell us what that was like?

It was actually really exciting because I had only been to one other tournament before and that was the Women’s World Cup in 2019 which was much smaller. There was much more singing and the crowd was much louder this time; the atmosphere was thrilling and I felt lucky to be there experiencing history in the making.

What do you think about the team and players this year?

I think that they are the best players that we have ever had. They are really diverse – from a range of different backgrounds – and this means that they have different skills to offer and ways of playing the game. I also like that they are really supportive of each other – for example, Saka, when he missed the penalty was supported immediately – everyone ran up to him as soon as he missed it to comfort him. In the past, players have been really arrogant and full of themselves – they never worked together which is why they never achieved anything; I feel this year’s team are really positive role models for everyone both on the pitch and off the pitch, in particular when they took the knee as a stand against racism.

You were in the news this week with your Dad! Can you tell us a bit more about this? How have you used this platform to spread a positive message?

I’ve been on the news a few times with my Dad because he’s a well-known England fan who has his own podcast where he also shares his thoughts about my team, Brentford FC. This week, we were interviewed at Wembley by the BBC because we were at the match. When you’re on the news, millions of people are watching and listening to you; this gives you a chance to say what you think and feel and you might be able to make a difference. I took this opportunity to say that your race does not influence or change the way you take a penalty. I felt disgusted at the abuse the young black players received just because they missed a penalty and wanted to take a stand to share this. I am mixed race and my Dad is black and has experienced a lot of terrible things. I don’t want anyone else to ever feel that way.

You play football yourself, don’t you? Who do you play for? Is football something you see yourself looking into in the future?

I play football for two teams: one is Barnet Nightingales and the other is Millfield Lionesses. In the future I would love a career in football being either a coach, a manager or even a player myself. Raheem Sterling is my hero because, not only has he overcome hatred around his race, he has carried on and become an excellent player and one of England’s best.

Written by Ms Walker-Nolan