England should have stayed off the pitch to show zero tolerance

Zero Tolerance Means Zero Tolerance by Dan Smith

Ian Wright led the media’s TV coverage of last night’s racist scenes by claiming that England’s reaction to racial abuse in Bulgaria was a ‘positive’ day in the fight against racism. Yet I think that’s slightly reactionary.

As I wrote in Just Arsenal last week; when push came to shove the players stopped going as far as walking off the pitch. Twice the game was halted which if nothing else will bring media attention to the issue poisoning our game. But it won’t tell us anything we don’t already know. That people need educating (in England as well), but that doesn’t mean UEFA will do anything about it. That’s why I refuse to accept the notion that any of the protocols worked.

I say that because the likes of Sterling spent 90 minutes listening to monkey chants – and in 2019 that’s simply not acceptable. My attitude towards this topic has always been one of zero tolerance. So why was an announcement not made the first instance anyone heard unwanted chanting?

After the tannoy announcement, it was obvious things were not getting better, so again why was it allowed to continue? Television showed a section of a gang asked to leave but as they held up signs and did the Nazi salute, they hardly looked bothered. So apparently the victory was in the second half because there was only ‘some’ racial chanting? Again, is that zero tolerance?

Zero tolerance means one fan being abusive is one to many, one minute of monkey chants, one minute to long.

Nothing that happened yesterday protected our black players from an ordeal that you wouldn’t legally have to tolerate in any other workplace. The abuse rained down for 90 minutes and it will happen again. All Gareth Southgate and the assistants did was occasionally huddle together, acknowledged what we had all heard and point out how horrible it was, before agreeing for the players to turn the other cheek.

You warned the crowd the game would be stopped if abuse carried on, but it carried on, simple…

Don’t get me wrong it’s not any side, coach or players responsibility to come up with an answer themselves, only the game’s governing body can do that.

Just if we think yesterday was progress, we are saying it’s okay for someone to be racially abused because it was only a little bit in the second half.

Again, zero tolerance should be zero tolerance.

Dan Smith


  1. Sean M says:

    Respectfully disagree.

    I think casting the message that racism cannot interfere with the beautiful game is an important one. Now it’s up to UEFA to set a precedent.

    It’s a shame because it’s such a small subsection of Bulgarians that will lead to the whole team being punished. You can already see the state of football in Bulgaria from the state of the pitch; this will set the game back even further at the national level. But hopefully this’ll force the Bulgarian FA to go to greater lengths to stop these idiots from being anywhere near the games.

    1. Innit says:

      But it did interfere!
      Didn’t you see the players upset and complaining and manager complaints, them the match stopped for a while. Of course it obviously interfered with the game. Racism hurts and we can’t expect the players to ignore it

      If we aren’t tough and firm it will just continue like that instead of decrease

    2. Arsenal says:

      Just jail them and that is it

  2. gunnertz says:

    racism will never end since more than 90% of white people are racists, this “say no to racism” nonsense is just for business interest, for profit purpose thats why comes from football managers/coaches and other organisation representatives

    1. Elliot says:

      90% of white people are racist? You are an idiot.

      1. gerry burke says:

        correct !!!, what a shameful comment from above.

    2. dan Smith says:

      evidence to support that statement ?

    3. Diogenes says:

      I’ve lived around the world and white people are the least racist – between 10 and 30 percent depending on the country/region. In most parts of the world it’s likely somewhere between 40 – 80 percent. Just spend a few years in various Asian countries and see how many people generalise in the sense – ‘those people are all like that’ (by ‘those’ meaning either people of a certain nationality/race/etc)

      Not to say Asians are racist but so-called white people are not. NOT AT ALL. That would be just as racist. But a higher percentage of the population definitely.

      On topic: Those racist fans wanted the game to be abandoned. Walking off simply rewards them and shows them they matter so respectfully disagree with staying off the pitch.

  3. panzerboy39 says:

    People know full well that racism is demeaning and disrespectful. Yet they will do it anyways. How many years has the anti-racism campaign been running now? People do it now to thumb us in the PC west now just for kicks.

  4. Viju Jacob says:

    I’m chuffed that the England team looked the enemy in the eye and played on…good on them.
    There is one gentleman up in the comments who makes a sweeping statement that 90% of whites are racist, which in itself is a racist comment. Racism doesn’t have colour of skin, but it’s a disease of the mind which a few have, so it’s a pathetic comment in the least.

  5. Break-on-through says:

    Online is very different when you come across this stuff. Some people seem to believe fighting racist remarks with racist remarks is the way to go about it. Whenever I’m watching youtube videos and this stuff comes up, I have to admit, there’s a lot of racists out there but oddly enough ..if I was to say which race does it more so online, it is black people or people under a black person’s name and image. I’ve also noted how white Women and black Women on average, think very differently to one another. White Women seem more like to condemn the white man for his remarks, whereas, it seems (some) black Women, are more likely to nudge and join in with the black man. I’ve not seen a white Woman doing that as of yet, that is why it was mentally noted. I don’t see it an awful lot of the time, but I found it surprising so it just stuck with me. Similarly it stuck with me when I was racially slurred against at the workplace, earlier in my youth, it was weird experience, the guy was in his late thirties and he seemed like an idiot, trying to get some of our co-workers to join in with laughter. He was trying to be cute, I believe now, I reckon he wanted me to strike him in the workplace so he could claim for damages. Either that or he was just an ignorant racist rather than a scamming racist, either way he was racist because there are many ways to start a fight with somebody. He was an American if anyone is wondering, and we were in a factory. I was working with all black guys (me and 6 guys) because one guy in the area I knew him from around, he was sound, the both of us would go for “smoke breaks” lunchtime most days. The racist guy did get a lad to go for him eventually, some young lad about 18/19 picked up a box cutter and went for him before his mates grabbed a hold of him, the American guy was smirking and sneering at him, then next day neither of them showed up I don’t think, or else just the young lad didn’t can’t remember.

  6. Gunnerphilic says:

    England won the game 6-0? So who are the real monkeys now?



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