Racism in Football 4

Danny Rose red carded in the midst of racist taunts

Danny Rose red carded in the midst of racist taunts

The world of football is used to being involved in some type of controversy however over the last 12 months the major talking point has been about racism. Certainly not the type of headlines and controversy the worlds most popular sport needs.

It all began about Christmas of last year, when Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez was accused of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. After an investigation and hearing by the Football Association, Suarez was found to be guilty and was given an 8 match ban.

A few months later, the next major incident was the well drawn out and well documented John Terry affair, where the, now former, England and Chelsea captain was accused of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. The Terry incident went on for nearly eight months,  and we may not have heard the end of it yet. To date it has involved the police, other players, a possible family feud and eventually a 4 game ban for John Terry. A ban that has been widely criticized as being too soft, especially when compared to Suarez’s punishment. A fall out of the incident was Terry retiring from England duty prior to the guilty verdict coming in.

However the most crude and ugly situation in recent times, was the situation that erupted at the end of England’s U-21 game vs Serbia’s U-21 last week. Throughout the game England’s Black players repeatedly complained that they were subjected to racial abuse and other taunts in the form of monkey chants, name calling, as well as, objects being thrown at them.

At the conclusion of the game, England’s Danny Rose, let out his frustration by  kicking  the ball away in disgust. As a result Rose was given a red card, at which time the violence began. Fights ensued all over the field involving players, staff, as well as un known parties. It was an ugly scene for all those that witnessed it, and must have been an even scarier scene for this that were being attacked. The English FA has since called for sanctions to be taken out against Serbia. We will wait and see.

But yet the saga continues, this pass weekend, the anti-racism organization “kick it out”   organized an event where all players in the league would wear T-shirts in support of kicking racism out of the game. However the campaign was hijacked when several high-profile players, including Manchester United Rio Ferdinand, his brother Anton, who was the subject of John Terry’s abuse, as well as, Reading player Jason Roberts decided not to wear the T-shirts.

Neither player has come out and actually said why they did not wear the shirts, but one can easily summarize that there objection, is in response to their belief that the FA’s, FIFA and UEFA’s stance towards stamping out racism, is not strong enough, especially when they have a supposed zero tolerance.

The players do have an issue, they’re have been countless episodes of racial abuse of players both on the field and in the stands, where the response by the authorities has not be been a significant enough deterrent.

Getting racism out of sport will be a difficulty, especially when it is still prevalent in many walks of life, but the so-called attempts being made by the authorities right now, with  low fines, t-shirts campaigns or even as FIFA President Sepp Blatter said, players should just shake hands and get over it, just isn’t  good enough.