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I would still shake Terry hand - Roberts

READING striker Jason Roberts would shake John Terry's hand, but raised eyebrows yesterday by refusing to say whether he thought the Chelsea skipper was a racist.

Roberts was one of a number of players who last week boycotted Kick It Out's annual initiative of wearing anti-racism T-shirts to highlight their efforts to rid the game of the problem.

The 34-year-old, a Kick It Out ambassador, says the organisation, and football authorities, are simply not doing enough to clamp down on the issue, which has reared its head again several times recently.

Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches last season and Terry has recently received a four-match suspension for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, although the former England defender was cleared of a similar charge in a criminal court this summer.

Ferdinand refused to shake Terry's hand when the two met in the latest west London derby, but when asked if he would take Terry's hand, Roberts said: "I would, yeah."

However, when questioned whether he thought the 31-year-old was a racist, Roberts again replied: "I would shake his hand, definitely."

Interested

Former England striker Les Ferdinand -- cousin of Anton and Rio -- told BBC Radio Five the Football Association had let down "every black person who is interested in football" by only banning Terry for four games.

The 45-year-old said: "I've wrestled with, 'Is John Terry a racist?' What John Terry did was make a racist comment -- and you have to suffer the consequences of that."

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Ferdinand brothers -- while praising its previous work -- called on Kick it Out to be "more relevant".

As an organisation with only six full-time members of staff, Kick It Out are already fully stretched.

But Kick It Out director Roisin Wood said: "I would always welcome engagement with any high-profile players.

"They are crucial to us moving the campaign forward."


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