© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Manneh: ‘It’s all about actions’

A day after the FC Cincinnati ownership group committed $250,000 toward programs addressing racial disparities, Kekuta Manneh said he was pleased to see the team taking action and hopes that continues moving forward.

“Taking that step was massive for the club and for individuals in the club,” Manneh said during a virtual press conference Wednesday afternoon. “For people like us, African Americans, seeing that the club is taking it seriously and doing something about it and educating people within the club that might not be exposed to African American history, I think they took a positive step towards that. It’s all about actions.”

On Tuesday night, the club also announced that an individual who sent a racist tweet directed at players won’t be permitted to attend another FCC match again.

“I think we all see that they’re fighting and they’re willing to protect the integrity of the club and the players that are in the club affected by everything going on in so many ways,” Manneh said. “We’re all thinking hopefully you have a magic wand and just get rid of the problem, but it’s not that simple and it’s not that easy.”

Manneh also highlighted a meeting that FCC President Jeff Berding recently led regarding culture and ways to address issues that occurred previously, including the exit of former coach Ron Jans in February.

“I think that meeting was long overdue and we should’ve had that meeting a while ago,” Manneh said. “But nothing is too late … I think we could do more, everyone included. It’s never too late and props to the club for initiating that and putting that money into a good cause.”

Additionally, on Juneteenth, the club published an article titled “Conversation: Juneteenth and Racism.” Manneh was one of six FCC players to participate in the conversation, which discussed racism in the U.S. and heartbreaking, disturbing experiences that the players have previously endured. That conversation was also recorded and released in a podcast episode.