Racism in soccer


In the past few weeks there have been several incidents of racism exhibited by supporters towards black players in the English Premier League. A banana peel was thrown near Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was subjected to racist taunts from the stands.

It doesn’t stop there though. Just this week Chelsea supporters that had traveled to Hungary for their side’s Europa League match with MOL Vidi were heard singing anti-semitic chants.

This is nothing new. Sadly it’s been going on before and will probably rear its ugly head at some point in the future. I was thinking about how best to express my reaction to these events when I saw something on the local news here in New York that added to this overall discussion.

On a crowded NYC subway a woman was filmed attacking a passenger while hurling Asian ethnic slurs.

The bottom line is that there is racism in all walks of life. At the root of all these incidents is anger. What these people are angry about, who knows but that seems to be the common thread. Sometimes when people are angry they lash out at others in order to make themselves feel better. I am no psychologist but that appears to be part of what’s going on here.

I then read the following article in The Guardian which eloquently looks at the issue and makes some excellent points. It was written by former player and current pundit John Barnes. It’s a topic that is hard to discuss, but Barnes has been there and delivers some honest insight in to the causes for and continuation of racism in sport. It’s worth a read!

If every racist at football was silenced stadiums would still be full of racists

John Barnes