A statement on behalf of Woking FC and Ben Gerring
12:59pm, Thu 11th Jun 2020
As a club we became aware today that a photograph of Ben Gerring, one of our players last season, is circulating on social media.
The background to this is that 6 years ago, while at a previous club, the team were asked to go to their end of season event as a famous sports figure. Ben was allocated the letter J and went as Michael Jordan, the Basketball legend. On moving clubs Ben was made aware this was inappropriate and made a public apology on his social media feed. The matter was considered closed. Periodically a screenshot of the image has recirculated on social media – which has happened again in recent days.
Regardless of the current climate Ben realises how inappropriate this picture was; the mitigating factors were that it was 6 years ago, he was much younger and had no real understanding of the significance of what this meant to the Black community. However, Ben accepts this doesn’t change the fact it was wrong. The current climate has only heightened the need for all of us to be committed to listening, learning and improving in our understanding of issues surrounding race.
Ben was a Woking player during the last two seasons. The club has talked at length with Ben and he remains very remorseful for causing offence and has learned from this incident. Ben again apologises for the photo and all parties are confident nothing of this nature will happen again. As far as is possible copies of the offending photograph have been deleted from social media.
We are also aware that the Gerring family have been receiving hateful and threatening messages themselves and Woking Football Club will support them in any action to address this through the proper channels.
Woking Football Club has a very strong record as a community club and takes a strong stance against any instance of racism, discrimination or inequality.
We will be making no further comment on this matter.