They’ve had enough.
Enough of coming up against football’s glass ceiling.
Enough of the brutal truth that when your career ends as a black player there are few chances for you in management, even fewer in administration and zero at the top of the game.
They’ve had enough of being told to be patient.
Enough of the lies that the talent pipeline simply isn’t there when black coaches are ready, qualified and perfectly capable of meeting expectations when jobs are handed out on merit.
Enough of being accused of playing the race card when they tell the truth about the English game.
Black players, coaches and administrators – past and present – have now decided to become masters of their own destiny.
Support for Football’s Black Coalition (FBC) has been rapid and significant. It is there for the entire domestic game’s black contingent – whether they are members or not.
There are no politics involved and there is no disruptive messaging to undermine it. Simply a line in the sand.
Could it lead to a Black players’ union? Very possibly.
To all those justifiably concerned at the idea, cast your mind back to 2012 when a group of 30 former and then-current players lobbied the PFA over the John Terry and Luis Suarez controversies.
Talk of a breakaway union back then was met, understandably, with a warning that it would do more harm than good.
Nearly a decade on, black players are still being racially abused, qualified black ex-pros still can’t get a job and there remains zero black representation on the FA board even now, five months after Raheem Sterling called them out in that Newsnight interview.
Working groups, panels and audits simply haven’t moved the dial with the game still dragging it’s heels over change and obsessing over taking the knee.
The EFL’s voluntary Rooney Rule has been largely ignored since it’s inception in 2016.
The black players on the Premier League’s advisory board are known to be frustrated at the lack of headway in terms of substantive change.
The strength of the Black Lives Matter ethos has been watered down with No Room For Racism in the top flight and the ludicrous Not Today Or Any Day in the EFL.
It shames our sport that the game is so weak on all this in 2020.
Eight years ago that delegation of players, led by ex-Reading striker, Jason Roberts and former West Brom defender Darren Moore, called on the game to grow a spine.
Since then, little has changed.
In 2014 the League Managers’ Association, no less, apologised after describing the racist messages sent by Malky Mackay as “banter”.
In 2017 Roberts was forced to leave English football to get his job in administration, as Director of Development at Concacaf.
Seventeen-year-old Rhian Brewster, then at Liverpool, also recalled seven different occasions that year alone when he had been racially abused or saw it happening to a team-mate.
In 2018 a Spurs fan was prosecuted for throwing a banana skin at Arsenal striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
A month later Sterling called out the media for its negative portrayal of black men compared to their white counterparts.
Last year Renee Hector suffered the first recorded case of racist abuse in the women’s professional game, Liverpool’s Mo Salah was abused at West Ham and Tottenham’s Danny Rose revealed he will walk away from the game when his career ends because of the lack of protection for black players.
In March this year, striker Jonathan Leko vowed never to report racism again following his six-month wait for justice after being called a “n*****” by Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla – who has since worn the captain’s armband.
These are just a few examples in a litany of cases.
Football’s Black Coalition intends to ensure that line in the sand is enforced and to ensure a complacent game is held to account.