In times of economic hardship, right wing views become more popular. Football, unfortunately, has not escaped racism’s horrible grip. It seems like wherever you look, someone is being racist. It fills me with sadness that we almost laughed at countries like Russia, Ukraine and Serbia for being so backwards, and now that racism is on our doorstep many of us are trying our best to ignore it.
We’ve had umpteen instances of racial abuse over the last year. The Suarez-Evra debacle was merely the catalyst. Only in a sport such as football, can someone be proven racist yet the team’s fans will still back him. The man is a racist. He pointed to a black player’s skin, multiple times, saying “negrito”. How can you say he’s innocent? If you’ve ever worn a ‘Justice for Suarez’ t-shirt, please stop reading this. I think the internet is lost on you. An eight match ban was par for the course, and completely justified.
But then you’ve got John Terry and Anton Ferdinand. Almost a carbon copy of Suarez-Evragate, but yet Terry got suspended for half as many games. Why? Because he’s England’s Brave John Terry™? Would he have gotten a longer ban had he not been English? It may be controversial, but I honestly believe so. The saddest thing is that he’s still club captain at Chelsea. What kind of a message does that send children? Or the people who pay their money to go to games? It’s actually okay to be racist in 2012, our club captain is. It clearly sent a message to THAT Chelsea fan in the crowd against Man United. Anyway, if you actually saw a monkey on the pitch, why are you chanting at it? Call RSPCA, mate.
Sandwiched between them we had the big scare in Ukraine and Poland about racism. Our brilliant British press spent the whole time looking for anything they could find that could prove their sensationalist articles pre-Euro 2012. And they found nothing. The irony is that back in England, it is the Poles who are subject to horrendous racism.
Then we had the whole Serbia-England U21 fiasco. Racism that was so loud and obvious, yet the Serbian FA decided that they didn’t hear it. The Serbian fans just stopped short of all putting on KKK masks, and the Serbian FA didn’t hear it?! At least UEFA punished them, though. Oh no, wait. UEFA did the most UEFA thing possible and did nothing. Not like them, eh?
And just in the last two weeks, we’ve had three instances of racism in our stands. The Sunderland fan’s gesture at Romelu Lukaku, Marvin Sordell and Millwall Football Club, and West Ham fans’ anti-Semitism towards Spurs last week. I could go on. On that last point, it’s not like West Ham’s chairman, David Gold, is Jewish or anything. Or their previous manager, Uncle Avram, was a Jew. Or that one of their most loved players of the last decade, Yossi Benayoun, is a Hanukkah celebrator. It really is mindless.
So how do we solve all this? It’s pretty simple. With every ticket, a club should give out a copy of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. It’s only £2 on Amazon.