Football has a Racism Problem...

At the weekend my favourite football team, Sheffield Wednesday, was embroiled in controversy. Not the usual method of humiliation this time, but the scourge of racism once again. An opposition player was greeted to monkey chants by a section of the crowd. Not a pretty sight. Worse was to come on the forums after when poster after poster tried to justify why the racist gestures were made. THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR RACISM.

Whilst football has a long association with racism, its society itself that has the problem. Football culture is only a subset of life. What happens in the street happens on the terrace. It's not as though a person adopts a new persona when they step inside the stadium. Racism is endemic in our society. We see it every day, yet we choose not to notice. We have an ex-Prime Minister who openly used racist tropes to sell himself. (Remember the post box jibes?).

There are no excuses for being racist. There is no provocation that justifies us using race as an insult. It is never acceptable to insult someone because of their race. We're not born racist. It's not in our blood. It gets put there by our fellow humans. They may try to blame the lack of hospital and school places on migrants. That's not the real reason, it's that government doesn't fully fund these services.

My grandfather served in India in the early twentieth century. He was a decent bloke who went on to be a tram, and then bus driver. I never noticed a racist in him until my mother read me a poem he used to read her. It was awful, racist. I was disgusted that he even thought it was OK, let alone my mother. I'd been brought up to abhor racism and bullying, yet here was evidence that beneath the vail was racism in my family. Racism is never far from the surface. Why do we allow it? Why is it acceptable to have hatred for your fellow humans?

None of this excuses people from being racist. In the seventies and eighties the problem was greater. Yet we still have this ingrained racism in society. We have to stamp it out in this generation. Race doesn't define us as a person, it's who we are. We ned to stand up and be counted. Don't let it slip because you don't want to cause a fuss.

To Kasey Palmer, the footballer who was subject to the disgusting actions of a fellow human. I'm sorry and I'm sure the majority of real football fans are. You didn't deserve that to happen to you. I can't change what happened but please be assured I and millions are behind you.

I hope the next generation fairs better from abuse. With the state of politics these days I don't have much faith. Yet we must keep pushing back at racism at all levels. Footballs racism problem is also societies problem. Let's kick racism into touch now.

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Football has a Racism Problem...

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