Lescott empathy for Walcott family
Joleon Lescott has admitted he feels sympathy for Theo Walcott because the Arsenal winger's family do not feel they can travel to Ukraine this summer due to the threat of racism.
Walcott's family are the first to confirm they will not be making the trip to Euro 2012 as a direct result of the potential for encountering racism during their travels.
Lescott said: "It is a shame they have to make that decision for nothing to do with football. Theo is a vital member of the squad. He is likely to play a lot of games and have a big role in the team. It is a shame his family won't be able to go and support him."
Lescott's family will not be there either, although the Manchester City defender insists that choice has nothing to do with racism.
He added: "My family won't be going either. Not for any particular reason, they just won't be going."
Lescott wonders whether the sport can ever be totally rid of racism.
"It is shame we are talking about it but I think we always will be," he said. "You can't get rid of it from people's minds. It is a touchy subject for some people to talk about. But if you address it pretty early I don't think it will be a problem. On the whole, our country deals with it pretty well. It is not as bad in England as it is in other countries."
The defender insists he has no problem being part of the same squad as John Terry, even though the Chelsea skipper has a court case hanging over him once Euro 2012 is over as a result of remarks he is alleged to have made to QPR's Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road in October.
"There are no problems," said Lescott. "We have been in squads before. We were all together for the Spain and Sweden games in November when we had two good results and performances.
"It has proved there is no animosity in the squad. There are no grudges held towards anyone."