Racism in Football: What should be done?

This is evidently titled racism in football, due to the huge media speculation surrounding the case. We’ve had a prolonged saga with John Terry and Anton Ferdinand, the slightly shorter ordeal of Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra and also, seemingly, incidents stemming from the fans in the stands.

A lot is happening in football in terms of racism, but it’s astronomically more than just football. It’s society. Modern society. It’s life.

Racism in any walk is completely vile and unnecessary. And with me being a football fan, like many others, who share my concerns over the matter, we were standing and watching not a great deal happen to resolve the matter. But after many recent incidents, action seems to finally be in the pipeline.

But looking into the approaches that are likely to be adopted, it is all wrong and way way off the mark. A “black union” is being mentioned. Essentially a union made up of black people opposing racism. Now I can’t pretend to be in their position having never been racially abused, but I do understand their frustration. Taking vicious remarks based on such a shallow subject like skin colour must be so upsetting and infuriating. But making a group for black people isn’t the way to go and is in fact racist in itself.

Without wishing to sound racist myself here, as I am wholeheartedly not and oppose the problem hugely. I believe “black people” sometimes alienate themselves when objecting racism. Just like this potential union is. How can you say “I’m against racism…….now all us blacks get together and fight it”. Racist in itself.

Now I admire their stance and passion to overcome the problem, but there are countless people of all races that want to fight this disease in society. How about just a “fight against racism” union? A group that will oppose racism in exactly the same manner but invites all races to join. Surely a better way to go?

Another approach, which Gordon Taylor has suggested, is a U.K. version to the “Rooney Rule”. A legislation brought into the N.F.L. in 2003 which states that a black person must be interviewed for every managerial and coaching job that arises. Again, this is ridiculous.

To me racism is alienating people for their skin colour. Now, to say a black person must be interviewed for a certain job just because he is black is hypocritical, and again, racist. You can’t say, “blacks aren’t getting interviewed because they are black and the way to overcome this is to interview them…….because they are black!” Nonsensical to think this is politically right or the way forward on the matter.

People, not just blacks, get interviewed off the back of their credentials and of course application. Skin colour does not come into this.

Us as a sport and as a mixed society need to get together and fight for the cause. The policies used must be jail sentences, hefty fines and lengthy bans. Punishments of severity, not just a slap on the wrists. Make examples of these lowlifes. I believe that a huge difference could be made if all races sang from the same hymn sheet. Racism incidents will drop significantly.

However, we need to slightly alter our approaches and think about what is said in the argument for it. Now I am strongly with everyone behind their desire to eradicate racism in football and indeed life. But you cannot aim to kick racism out and then be racist in your approach towards it.

Saying, this union is for blacks, is racist. Saying, interview him because he is black, is racist. These are not the methods we should be adopting.

The objective is right and I hope the matter is resolved. But we need to think into what were saying and come together as one. Not have one race fighting for themselves.


Written by Michael Collins

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1 Comment

  1. Angelo

    October 25, 2012 at 18:08

    As a black individual, I agree that the reality of a black union wouldn’t be in the best interest of anyone who would choose to be a member of that union, and ultimately the game itself. The intention might be noble and good in theory for those that feel it is a necessary organization, but it has always been said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. With that said, it is obvious that there is a problem within the game itself.

    One of the special things about sports over all is that they are microcosms of life and society. So it is no surprise to find societal issues for better and for worse woven into the fabric of our sports.

    I don’t know what can be done to find a solution for fixing the racial problems within the game. I think many have been trying to answer that question in regard to life ever since the beginning of time.

    What I would like to see though used as an aid in finding a cure within the sport is a stronger media. Maybe even a more diverse media. If media in some of these fully intergrated leagues were as diverse as the characters of the leagues themselves, maybe there is somewhere in there, a remedy to be found.

    It is one thing to report the issues, but it is a different thing all together when there is somebody there to press the issues because they can relate to the core of the issues. Not just for the sake of racism, but also for all outlets and issues of life that can be found within the confines of the game where there is room for disagreement and misunderstanding.

    I think media has the most power to influence change. Maybe media is the key. Still, it is just my two cents.