Racism needs to be sacked. Now.
That’s the message North Winnipeg Nomads’ head football coach Jeffrey Bannon wants to send after Winnipeg was named Canada’s most racist city toward Aboriginals in a recent issue of Maclean’s magazine.
“Our standpoint is that racism sucks and we won't tolerate it," Bannon told CTV News. He designed a t-shirt and hoodie, one in his team’s colors, green and yellow, and another that’s black and white to help combat racism. The t-shirts are on sale on the team’s website with the choice of two captions, 'Racism Sucks' and 'Keep Calm and Stop Racism.'
Elijah Grady, #74 in uniform.
"We try to preach football, family [and] community, and we have no room in our lives or our game for racism,” Bannon told the WinnipegSun.com. “We don't want our kids to feel that because some magazine labelled us that, that's what we are."
Below the merchandise for sale on their website, the team responded to the magazine’s claims. Here’s a part of their message:
“It was with a feeling of disappointment and betrayal yet a profound instinct to say “NO YOUR [sic] WRONG” on how the North Winnipeg Nomads feel about an article in a magazine written about how Racist Winnipeg is….
A lot of us work tirelessly from volunteerism, political activism, to working with our children – we continue to make strides daily, we don’t’ see colour, race, skin or creed – we see Winnipeggers working together to better our City, our Communities - we are all in this together and nothing is more evident than this that [sic] the North Winnipeg Nomads Football Club. …
We will let our pride show through these [T-shirts], let the community know who we are and what we stand [for] and believe in – we ask that you join us, as we are extremely proud to be part of the fabric of Winnipeg – and wouldn’t want to change anything – we’ll use this to educate and arm our athletes with knowledge – yet we can assure you they don’t care who or where you came from – they care about the next block, tackle or catch – as after all were all the same where it matters and that’s that we are all Winnipeggers!”
"We value relationships," Bannon told CTV News. "We value diversity. And we only judge on efforts. And the only colour we see is the colour across the field from us for two hours a game.”