Striker awarded $200 000
By Tony Best | Sun, August 12, 2012 - 12:03 AM
A Black Barbadian professional footballer in England has been awarded the equivalent of BDS$200 000 for being unfairly sacked and racially victimized by Gillingham Football club.
Mark McCammon, a Gillingham striker who also played international matches for Barbados and turned out for Charlton, Swindon, Millwall and Brighton, was awarded £68 728 by an employment tribunal in Kent for the loss of earnings and breach of contract.
The news of the award came from McCammon’s solicitor, Sim Owolabi, who insisted that the tribunal’s findings were fair and were based on the evidence presented during a four-day hearing.
McCammon, once Gillingham’s highest-paid player, earning more than £2 500 a week, had taken legal action against the League Two team, charging that he had been treated differently from white players.
He accused the club of putting him “through hell” by declining to provide him with the same top-notch medical care given to white players when they got injured.
He also said it even ordered him and other black players to drive to the club’s medical rooms in a snow storm while advising the white footballers to remain at home because of the bad weather.
When he confronted the club’s manager, Andy Hessenthaler, about the treatment, the club official became very angry, McCammon charged.
After being fired by Gillingham, McCammon sought to play for ten other clubs which had shown “strong interest” in his services, but was unable to find employment because “it soon became known that the chairman (of Gillingham Paul Scully) had been interfering”.
In the end he was not offered a contract by any club and his agent “was told by other agents that the job he was doing was an impossible one as they were aware that GFC was effectively campaigning against me with the intent of sabotaging my career”, he said.
Scully said a few days ago that Gillingham haven’t decided if they would appeal the tribunal’s ruling.
“We’re talking to lawyers and we will make a decision in a few days,” Scully told BBC Radio Kent.
“It was such a bizarre, extraordinary and wrong decision, in my view, that it affected everyone in the club.”
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