Former Dublin footballer Jason Sherlock believes that racism is as much a problem now as when he was playing.
As the son of an Irish mother and Hongkonger father, Sherlock was the victim of racist abuse during both his childhood and his time as a player.
Sherlock is now the Director of Development with DCU Educational Trust and has played a leading role in the DCU's Access Service which helps to create equality of access to third level education for students from groups under-represented in higher education.
Speaking to 2fm’s Game On, Sherlock insisted that there is still plenty of work to be done to combat racism in Ireland and when asked if it was less of an issue than when he was young, he replied: "My sense would be no. I think I was lucky in the sense that people accepted me because I could play sport and I was talented at sport.
"If I hadn’t got that, how would I have been received and would there a conscious bias towards me? I suppose that’s why I’m so passionate about education and the opportunities that education gives.
"Looking at the DCU Access program, we have students born in 55 different countries, 20% of our 1,100 students are born outside of Ireland so it just shows you what DCU is doing to raise diversity and inclusion on their campus.
"From my point of view, I would just like to see more education, one for victims of racial abuse that they understand that they’re doing nothing wrong. Everyone if different, everyone is unique and they’re not the one’s frankly with the problem.
"Then we need education for the people that feel they can give racial abuse, to understand the impact that can provide, because ultimately if you’ve been slagged racially at anytime in your life, that will never leave you. That will always be part of you and it will always affect your self worth and self esteem.
"I’m still having to have the conversation and unfortunately if I don’t have the conversation it [the discussion] might stop."
Sherlock is optimistic about the future however and believes that even the current crisis in America, where the death of George Floyd at the hands of police has led to civil unrest, may eventually help to create some genuine solutions to the issue of racism.
"With what’s happening in the States, this hopefully might be a pinch-point where people might actually do something and come up with a solution that will make society and sport a better place in Ireland and worldwide," he said.
"You have to have hope and you have to have the people who can see where the opportunities are.
"Young boys and girls aren’t born with racist connotations, they get them somewhere and I think what’s really important from a moderation point of view is that we provide the rules and they understand what is right and what is wrong.
"As much as we’re in a chaotic situation, you have to believe that there’s hope coming out of this and that our sport and society will be in a better place."