I said a while back that I was caught up in the bubble. I thought, in this country we're doing so great with the racism situation, and then, a couple of situations rear their heads and you realise it's just been put under the surface really.
Such were Rio Ferdinand's sentiments when the discussion turned toward racism in modern English football.
In a week where the pioneering Cyrille Regis died and was remembered for his outstanding courage in an admittedly more difficult situation for black footballers in England, Ferdinand's words suggested that he was under no illusions that serious problems with racism remained.
This season alone, Rhian Brewster, one of England's heroes from the U-17 World Cup winning side, spoke to The Guardian of multiple instances where he had encountered racism first hand; that he is only 17-years old only serves to boggle the mind further.
Raheem Sterling, only a few years older than Brewster but considerably more au fait with media scrutiny, was publicly attacked and racially abused as he attempted to enter Manchester City's training complex earlier late last year.
Two fairly public incidents that likely skim the surface of many further instances of such behaviour, Ferdinand believes that although "awareness" of such incidents has grown, how they are ultimately dealt with leaves a lot to be desired:
The support for individual players [needs to be better]. For instance, the Mason Holgate situation with [Robert] Firmino. I'm not saying Mason Holgate is right or wrong, or that Firmino is right or wrong, the powers that be will decide that. But, when a case like this comes along, people like Kick It Out, Show Racism The Red Card, the PFA, they need to be the first ones knocking on these boys' doors for support.
I don't believe that's happened, directly for these players. ... I've asked a few questions at both these clubs, these guys haven't had direct communication from these organisations.
The former Manchester United and England international went on to criticise the manner in which certain players who have claimed to have been racially abused are subsequently caught up in witch hunts that ultimately seek to question their credibility.
You can watch the full discussion below.
— eir Sport (@eirSport) January 20, 2018