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21st Dec 2016

Footballer defends decision to “black up” for Christmas party



James Norwood, the Tranmere Rovers striker, has defended his decision to “black up” for the club’s Christmas party.

The 26-year-old shared the following image on his Instagram account earlier this week, accompanied by the caption ‘great Xmas do with the boys.. level – fancy dress – completed’.

Having attracted criticism online, Norwood’s social media accounts were set to private and the image was removed, the Sun reports.

But as reported by the Liverpool Echo, the striker appeared to defend his appearance when one Twitter user claimed that impersonating black people was racist and reinforced racist stereotypes.

‘whats racist about it pal?’ he replied. ‘Seen plenty of kamara, mr T and a couple of Hollywood films do it.’

Later on, he added: ‘you mean impersonating a character? Not a stereotype. Fancy dress is to become someone you’re not…i did that.’

Kick It Out, football’s anti-discrimination charity, had earlier described Norwood’s choice of costume as ‘ill-thought-out’.

“Although it is likely it was a well-intended fancy dress for a Christmas party, it is ill-thought-out and something that is out-of-date in today’s modern world,” a spokesperson remarked.

“Even well-intended acts may cause offence and that’s something players have to appreciate and consider.”

Catch up with this week’s episode of Football Friday Live: