26 Oct Ryan Giggs says he was made to feel ‘different’ because of race | Ents & Arts News
Ryan Giggs has opened up about being made to feel “different” due to his mixed-race heritage when he moved from Wales to England as a child.
The 46-year-old spoke about his experiences on the ITV Wales programme Can I Be Welsh And Black?, which explored the significance of ethnicity in Wales today.
Giggs told Richard Parks, a former Wales international rugby union player, he was “immensely proud” of his mixed-race heritage, with his father Danny Wilson, also a former rugby union player, being black, and his mother Lynne Giggs, being white.
When questioned on the first time he was made to feel “different”, he said: “I didn’t experience anything in Cardiff. I was seven, so I can’t remember a lot before that. It wasn’t until I moved to Manchester.
“Where I lived, my dad was very well known, because he was such a good player. He was probably the best player in the team in that town.
“As you can guess, to look at me, you wouldn’t think my dad was black.
“But obviously everyone knowing that was my dad, and my dad quite clearly being black, that’s really when I sort of experienced the first time. Which was a bit weird, because I’d never experienced that before.”
Giggs added that he defined himself as “mixed race”, but would not “shout about” the fact as “it’s just who I am”.
The former Manchester United winger recalled memories of visiting Wales to see his black cousins in Cardiff’s docks area.
He said: “It was weird because when I was in Manchester there was no black people at my school. One or two. And obviously when I go back home I’m just surrounded by my dad’s family.
“I loved it. There used to be a carnival every year down the docks, and I used to love going to that. It was just normal for me. It was great for me to have that diversity.”
The Wales manager also added that he had “no hesitation” in taking the knee at recent international matches to support the “important message” of the Black Lives Matter movement.
He said the decision to take the knee was to show that the nation “didn’t put up with discrimination or racism”.
“There was no hesitation with myself and with my staff and with the team,” he added.