Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chairman Clarke Carlisle has stood by the criticism of Rio and Anton Ferdinand in his autobiography, telling the Guardian that it “was how I felt at the time”.
Carlisle, 33, accused the brothers of "throwing a grenade" at the issue of racism in football by ignoring a campaign launched by Kick It Out last October and described them as “s***houses”.
The comments from his book, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail, have caused a storm this week, but the former Burnley defender insists he has no regrets about what he wrote.
"That was how I felt at the time," Carlisle told the Guardian. "I felt that players, I felt that the guys did something that was very public but then weren't willing to actually step forward and be accountable for what they did and state the reasons why."
Carlisle was asked if he was still unhappy about the behaviour of the Ferdinand brothers and responded: "I still feel that there's a real reluctance from players to step out on issues, yes. I don't think that they're all s***ouses.
“It's a very, very strong word isn't it. But I was very, very angry at the time. I think players should have more courage to stand up for what they believe and if they feel strongly about something they should speak out and have the courage to do that.
"I didn't say it to them personally, to their faces, but I made it clear in the interviews and in the meetings and in passing on information that [their actions] needed to be explained. I made that clear, and I stated it publicly. There's nothing for me to, I don't think, I don't feel guilty about writing that part. Not at all."