Benni McCarthy says racism remains part of society ‘because of ignorance’ but hopes attitudes, not least to black and ethnic minority coaches will evolve.

The former Rovers striker, out of work after leaving Cape Town City last November, is looking for a way back in to the game, but doesn’t put his situation down to his colour.

Instead, McCarthy, interviewed for the Hearts job last year, missed out on the opportunity at Tynecastle because of a lack of experience.

However, he feels that many club owners ‘don’t feel comfortable’ about having a BAME manager in charge.

McCarthy’s comments come as many sports people, including many members of the Rovers squad, took part in Blackout Tuesday, a social media initiative to help promote the Black Lives Matter movement.

Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolves), Keith Curle (Northampton Town), Sabri Lamouchi (Nottingham Forest), Darren Moore (Doncaster Rovers), Dino Maamria (Oldham) and Sol Campbell (Southend) are the BAME managers in the Premier League and EFL, something McCarthy hopes will change over time.

“Listen‚ you see what’s going on in the world right now. It’s very much still part and parcel of society today. But it’s only because of ignorance‚” McCarthy told an online press conference of the South Africa Football Journalists Association.

“But my time hasn’t been all smooth sailing. I’ve had exceptionally difficult times.

“And it is difficult. No matter how much you want to make it different‚ if somebody else doesn’t want to accept this part of me there’s very little that one can do about that.

“But in today’s society‚ do you see a lot of us coaching in Europe? Because‚ it’s just how society is that the majority of club owners don’t feel comfortable having an African or black person in charge of their team.

“We aren’t going to change that. We can only continue to fight it and hope that people do see clearly‚ and do the right things one day.

“Maybe at least we set the tone for the kids coming in the next generation‚ and by then hopefully it’s changed.”

McCarthy, who scored 52 times in his three-and-a-half years at Ewood Park, is now based in Scotland having started his coaching career at Hibernian.

He missed out on the Hearts job to Daniel Stendel in November, but didn’t put that down to his skin colour.

“I’ve not experienced a situation yet where I’ve applied for a job and somebody else go it because of the colour of their skin,” he added.

“I did interview for the Hearts job and I didn’t get it and a white man got it. But it was nothing like that.

“It was my inexperience at the time. I’ve only had my first opportunity of management‚ and now to get an opportunity to manage such a big club as Hearts‚ I think they went purely on experience.

“What the manager had achieved‚ and his experience and what he’s been through in his job was suitable for what Hearts needed at the time‚ and not because he had a lighter skin colour than me.”