Love Island’s Jack Fowler Reveals Racism Affected His Career As He Shares Heartfelt Post About His Dad & Black Heritage
11 June 2020, 11:41
Love Island star Jack Fowler has penned a message in support of the Black Lives Matter movement after explaining the racism his dad endured and how it interfered with his career.
The sports player shared a photo with his dad and revealed that his grandparents on his father’s side moved to the UK from Saint Helena as part of the Windrush generation.
Jack wrote: "Here’s me and my dad [heart emojis]. My grandad was one of the first hundred to arrive just after the Windrush on the RMS St Helena from a very small island called Saint Helena in the South Atlantic that has a population of 4,000 people.
"My Nan shortly followed and then they had my dad who was born and raised in London. My dad met my mum who was a white British East Londoner when he was 12 and as my dad reached 34, my elder brother was born followed by me. We were both born and raised in east London.”
He continued: "Growing up with a dad who’s a man of colour was a powerful insight into what racism is really is. Because my dad is black, I was educated from a young age about the slave trade as my ancestors were slaves on their home island, Saint Helena.”
Jack went on to explain how his career had been affected by racism and that he’s been treated ‘differently’, adding: "The experiences that my dad had growing up being a man of colour in school and throughout adulthood have been taught to me. There have been times where I’ve been treated different because of the complexion of my dads skin.
"An example is during my young footballing life where I was treated differently as soon as people knew that my dad was black. I was confused at the time but quickly learnt and became aware of what was happening. It made me feel frustrated but I understood that my dad is a black man who has been through feeling this way all of his life."
The former Love Islander explained that he has experienced ‘many moments’ of white privilege throughout life and added that he will always speak up to support anti-racism.
He said: "I feel that it’s my responsibility to share this story with you because I expect that I’m not the only one who has a white skin complexion but has parents of colour... I love the black culture and it hurts to still see that even in 2020, black people are not being treated equally. I feel as a white looking mixed race man, I’ve experienced many moment of white privilege.
"It’s times like these that we should treat people of all colour, religion and walks of life equally. I’m proud of my roots. Always have been always will be and I will always speak up and stand against racism [heart emojis] #BlackLivesMatter.”
Fans took to social media to praise the reality TV star, with one tweeting: "I can’t lie the way people applied pressure to Jack Fowler to speak up on black issues just for some of you to find out he’s half black and could have been dealing with his feelings on such a heavy matter is why sometimes it’s best to leave people alone you know.”
Jack’s friend and fellow former co-star Josh Denzel also showed love in the comments, adding: “My bro for life [praise emojis],” while singer Simon Webbe wrote: “You are who you are and proud to be by your side [praise emoji]."