After launching the PFA offering, Kitson under fire over Sterling's 2018 comments

Dave Kitson's bid to become head of the players' union has been rejected by the former Arsenal striker Ian Wright , while the head of the anti-racist campaign group Kick It Out has expressed concern over his previous comments on the England striker Raheem Sterling .

Former player Kitson aims to replace Association of professional footballers (PFA) boss Gordon Taylor , who has been at the helm since 1981, telling the body's response to the COVID-19 The crisis was an absolute shame.

However, Kitson's anti-racist stance was questioned when a 2018 video appeared in which he said that while he did not tolerate racism, players like Sterling become a target due to how they portray themselves on social media.

Look at this garbage. The same person is now running to lead the PFA, former England forward Wright wrote on Twitter. How can the PFA claim to take racism seriously when it comes to a candidate's views?

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He's literally blaming a victim of abuse by saying they bring him along, Wright added in response to another tweet.

Kick It Out boss Sanjay Bhandari said Kitson's comments did not inspire confidence when dealing with black players.

Anyone with aspirations to lead the PFA in the future must take into account the best interests of all players, Bhandari told The Guardian.

Dice Dave Kitson In previous comments, I would be deeply concerned about your ability to represent black players. You need to earn their trust and I doubt I can do it.

Kitson responded by saying to The Guardian: My goal is to ensure that the union's policies reflect the needs and aspirations of all its members.

Very importantly, that should include a much more effective anti-racism policy, added the 40-year-old who played as a striker for several clubs, including Reading, Stoke City, Portsmouth and Sheffield United.