'It's better....but it's not perfect' says Chris Kamara as he chats to children about racism

Chris Kamara told ITV Tyne Tees things have improved in his home town of Middlesbrough - but it's still not perfect. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Middlesbrough legend Chris Kamara has returned to his home town to teach children about the importance of anti-racism.

The football pundit, who has previously spoken about his experience growing up as the only black family in his area, has been helping to educate youngsters about the issue.

He visited Boro's Riverside Stadium to talk to children ahead of the launch of a new educational film by Show Racism the Red Card.

"I'm a Middlesbrough boy so I know what it was like when I was growing up," Kamara told ITV Tyne Tees. "It's totally different now. It's so much better but it's still not perfect.

"We need these children to go home and when their mum and dad utter some racist statement, the kids can actually pick them up and say 'that's not allowed any more, you have to treat everyone the same'.

"The one thing we know we can't do is eradicate racism. It will continue and go on for decades and decades, long after I'm here.

"What we can do now is try to educate these children and say this is not right. We're all the same, whether we're brown, black, white, yellow, pink or whatever. We're all the same inside."

Chris Kamara speaking at the Show Racism the Red Card event at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The film, which shares football players' experience of racism, also stars England manager Gareth Southgate and former Lioness Jill Scott.

Richard Offiong, from Show Racism the Red Card, said: "We work with football clubs. We use the high-profile nature of current players and ex-players to help spread the message.

"Quite often we get questions about if we've suffered racism and what have we done to try and combat racism.

"The message is long-lasting as well. The kids definitely remember these sessions and it just highlights how important something like this is."

Ken Monkou, also from the charity, added: "It's a cliche but kids are the future but it's true because they can help spread the word and help re-educate in the environment they're from.

"No kid is born a racist. We can help inform and give them a good platform, a good voice and confidence. That's what I'm passionate about."

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