Football and racism in Britain


This 2010 video is called Kick It Out of Football – Racism.

By Kadeem Simmonds in Britain:

SIMMONDS SPEAKS: Did people really think racism disappeared?

Wednesday 25th February 2015

Football still has a problem and it never went away, says KADEEM SIMMONDS

As fans filled in to Stamford Bridge last Saturday for the match against Burnley, a video was played on the big screen. It was an anti-racism clip that had to be shown as a reminder that racism will not be tolerated at the club.

It followed the racist attack on French-Mauritian Souleymane S in Paris a fortnight ago.

As Souleymane attempted to board a Paris Metro train on his way home from work, a group of Chelsea supporters — in France for that night’s Champions League tie against Paris St Germain — shoved him off and chanted: “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it.”

A nation-wide hunt for the supporters began the following morning and by the weekend a few of them had been named and shamed, including Richard Barklie, an ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary and Police Service of Northern Ireland officer and currently a director at human organisation the World Human Rights Forum.

The World Human Rights Forum should be careful that Mr Barklie’s behaviour will not make them look as fake as the Qatari dictorial government-founded Qatari National Human Rights Committee, or the Afghan (so called) Independent Human Rights Commission.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho used his Friday press conference to say he was “ashamed,” while owner Roman Abramovich was “disgusted” and offered Souleymane a ticket to the second leg of the match at Stamford Bridge.

Souleymane turned down the offer and who could blame him? He isn’t a fan of the sport and after what happened to him, why would he want to spend an evening with Chelsea supporters?

The whole incident has brought racism back to the forefront of the game but it has always been there.

If the public thought racism had left football before the attack in Paris a fortnight ago they are wrong.

You only have to look at the comments Stan Collymore gets when he tweets or what other black players are called on social media.

If what happened to Souleymane wasn’t caught on video no-one would have known about it. It may be cynical of me but there is probably evidence of racism up and down the country at football grounds every weekend.

Following Sunday’s 2-2 draw between Tottenham and West Ham a video was uploaded of alleged West Ham fans chanting vile anti-semitic chants and called Spurs fans “fucking Jews.”

The fact that an organisation like Kick It Out is still around shows that the problem is one that needs to be addressed.

I don’t want everyone working there to be out of a job but it would be great if football didn’t need a group to stamp racism out of the game.

But it does because the Football Association, Fifa and Uefa are not taking the problem seriously enough and when they say they do it’s a bold face lie.

The next World Cup is being held in Russia, where the fans are notorously racist and there have been cases this season of fans of Russian teams competing in the season’s Champions League acting in a racist manner, forcing the teams to play their matches behind closed doors.

But has Fifa stripped them of the World Cup? Of course not.

Were they to be kicked out of the tournament until they cleaned up their racism problem, it would send a clear message that it will no longer be tolerated.

But let’s not ignore the fact that Britain needs to stop pointing the finger at other countries’ racist supporters and attempt to sort out its own fans.

Black players are not hounded and villified as badly as they were a few decades ago but there has been more than one occasion over the past few seasons where black players have scored in the Premier League and fans have made monkey gestures.

For too long the FA has acted like it sorted out the racism on the terraces but it hasn’t. Small pockets of fans continue to behave in a racist manner, proving it is still well and truly alive.

Alyson Rudd from The Times and the FA have patted themselves on the back over the past few days and tried to act like this “incident” shows how far football has come. But it is has not come far enough in my opinion.

And as for Chelsea. While they can act disgusted and condemn the racist attackers, that wasn’t the club’s stance in 2012 when captain John Terry was banned for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

Twitter was awash with jokes after the incident, most along the lines of Chelsea had banned three suporters for racist language and handed a fourth a new contract and made him captain.

While this is no laughing matter, the London side are made to look like a joke considering the way they have handled issues of racism in the past.

I find it difficult to watch Chelsea continue to be applauded for the way they are handling this case when they dealt with the Terry one so appallingly.

They allowed the former England defender to continue playing which basically sent out the message: “Racism is wrong unless you’re a good player and we need you, in which case we will sweep it under the carpet and hope it never gets brought up again.”

Queens Park Rangers’ caretaker boss Chris Ramsey put it best yesterday when he said:“Racism in football has been parked, not eliminated.”

THE British Transport Police (BTP) yesterday released pictures of seven men in relation to racist chanting a day after Souleymane S was shoved off the Paris Metro in France. The men, believed to be Chelsea fans, were allegedly chanting racist songs at St Pancras International station in London: here.

Chelsea were pleading with their fans yesterday to keep the atmosphere at Wembley “positive” with worries that there could be anti-semitic chanting at the League Cup final. With Tottenham’s links to London’s Jewish community and Blues fans in the past chanting anti-semitic songs — something the club have admitted — the Blues are reminding fans of the responsibility they have to the club: here.

RACISM is widespread in English football with police having to deal with hundreds of incidents from the top of the game right down to grassroots level, new research revealed yesterday: here.

4 thoughts on “Football and racism in Britain

  1. Tuesday 3rd March 2015

    posted by Kadeem Simmonds in Sport

    Group of Chelsea fans kicked off train late Sunday night

    CHELSEA became embroiled in another racism scandal involving their fans yesterday, this time on a train from London to Manchester on Sunday night.

    The British Transport Police said they were investigating reports of racist and abusive behaviour by Blues fans celebrating their League Cup final victory over Tottenham.

    Four men were forced off the train, with witnesses claiming that fans asked two young Asian girls where their burkas were and sang songs about Spurs and Auschwitz.

    Another witness said the abuse caused a black man to leave the carriage in attempt to get away from the group of men.

    A BTP statement said that “rail passengers and staff have the right to travel and work in peace,” which led to rail union RMT general secretary Mick Cash to say: “RMT is aware of reports of abusive and racist behaviour on a London to Manchester train last night, thought to involve football supporters returning from London, which resulted in a number of passengers being removed from the service at Stoke.

    “The incident, currently under investigation by the British Transport Police, once again shows how vulnerable staff and passengers are in these kind of situations and why it is so important to have adequate numbers of trained staff on hand to implement procedures to protect both those using our railways and those working on them.

    “No-one should be subjected to racist and abusive behaviour but it is all too commonplace with rail staff on the front line expected to deal with it. They deserve the support and the resources they need and that has to mean an end to the cuts to staffing that are a feature of current rail franchising plans which do nothing but increase risks and encourage those who think the railways are a safe place to use threatening, racist and abusive behaviour.”

    A Chelsea spokesman said: “We are aware of the reports but it is not clear at this time if this incident involves Chelsea supporters.

    “If it did then we will assist the British Transport Police with their enquiries.”

    This is the third time in a month that Blues fans have been accused of racism.

    Last month in France a group of supporters pushed a black man off the Paris Metro, while the next day a group of fans were caught allegedly chanting racist songs at St Pancras station.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-5100-Cops-probe-more-racist-Blues-fans#.VPXpkuFwZKo

    Like

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