Sol Campbell, the Portsmouth defender, has said in a statement that there are far too few black footballers, and has called upon players to support the under-represented minority by 'becoming black'.
Mr Sol, real name Sulzeer Jeremiah, who is, himself, as black as the Ace of Spades, was bombarded with racist and homophobic abuse by fans at the weekend, during Pompey's game with Spurs at Fratton Park. Far from shying away from the 'colour' issue, however, the ex-Spurs player met it head-on:
"There's nothing wrong with being black. It's nobody's fault. Nobody gets the chance to choose their colour. It's the luck of the draw."
The world's first black player was Arthur Wharton, a mixed-race Ghanaian, who appeared in goal for Preston North End in 1885-86. He was also the 100m World Record holder.
Until the 1960s, black players in football were humoured for their 'novelty value', with only Clyde Best, the West Ham player, and Albert Johannesson, who signed for Leeds in 1961, keeping the Black flag flying.
These days, there are many more 'darkies' in the game, but, rather than falling, levels of racist abuse seem to have risen and become far more extreme in their tone.
The game at Fratton Park was a prime example, with Spurs fans singing the famous 'Zigger zigger zigger' song, and making monkey noises.
The former England international has sent out letters to all 92 League clubs asking them to nominate a Black Representative or Black Sheep, to get the message across to normal, non-black supporters, that black people are 'not strange', smelly or backward, and that it's quite safe to live next door to one.
"Ideally it should be the club captain, or star player. A Steve Gerrard, Wayne Rooney or Frank Lampard, that status of player, someone who all the fans love and respect. We have to make fans understand that it is normal to be black."