Players association: Racial abusers need to go

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LONDON (AP) -- England's players' union wants stiffer punishment for racial abuse in the wake of high-profile cases in the Premier League.

Such abuse should be considered "gross misconduct," and soccer authorities should have the option to fire players and terminate contracts, the Professionals Footballers' Association says.

The PFA announced the proposals on Wednesday in an attempt to curtail plans for a breakaway black players' union.

High-profile players including Rio and Anton Ferdinand and Joleon Lescott refused to wear T-shirts for the anti-discrimination campaign Kick It Out last weekend because they perceived a lack of action in recent cases of racism in the sport.