The Dele Alli fine is another chance missed for Football to show ‘zero tolerance’

Does anyone else see the irony that on the same day the League discusses how to pay tribute next week to those who have lost their lives due to the coronavirus, they only ban Deli Alli for one match for using the topic as a joke on social media?

A minute silence will take place before each kick-off and players will wear heart-shape badges to pay respect to those in the NHS. All very noble but also all fairly obvious.

As usual actions speak louder than words.

Here is an England International zooming in his camera to laugh at an Asian man, then getting a close up of hand sanitizer. Implying that a certain race now represents you catching a virus. Not just thinking it, but sharing it with his millions of followers.

His punishment? The same as getting two yellow cards. Or worse a mistimed tackle will see you miss more games than filming people unprovoked in an airport, and using how they look as a joke to entertain your viewers on Instagram.

This article isn’t inspired because the midfielder plays for Spurs. Regular readers on Justarsenal will know that I have for a long time preached that racism and prejudice is creeping back into football. More and more fans are going to stadiums, thinking it’s okay to say and act in a manner they wouldn’t dare act at any other time in their week.

That next generation is hearing Sterling get racially abused, and then only seeing a small fine as consequence. Youtubers are getting subscribers based on verbally abusing their own players. Now a player, a role model to many, shares a sick stereotype to the world and is treated the same as someone getting 5 yellow cards.
What an opportunity missed once again to educate. Especially with what’s going on in America at the moment.

Protests are going on to preach ‘@BlackLivesMatter’ but I’m sure we all agree that all lives matter?

That whatever race, religion, culture, gender you are, no one should be judging you, laughing at you, making you feel uncomfortable or making assumptions. Deli Ali saw a man of Asian origin and made an immature stereotype.

If that was a different race or religion and a different stereotype maybe it would have been treated much more seriously?Can you imagine?

Yet if we are serious about changing the mindset of others, it’s by having zero tolerance. This was another chance to set an example, and the punishment again does not reflect the offence caused.

Go make the same ‘joke’ in your workplace and see what happens.

You see burning buildings, knocking down of statues, robbing stores; that’s not how you make changes …. not in the long term. You do it by educating that next generation.

By talking.

By making them see as they grow up that there is zero tolerance towards any form of prejudice.

That it will be met with extreme ramifications.

A child’s biggest learning tool is adults. Think about Michael Jordan, South Africa’s Rugby World Cup Winning Team, France in France 98. This is how sport can help education.

Think how many kids you see copy Deli Ali’s handshake celebration. You are now left hoping that the same amount are not influenced by his video. A video where his manager defended him. The player pleaded not guilty. They only cared about the record stating he wasn’t a racist.


Imagine if kids read today that Deli Ali made a joke based on how a man looked and now misses 10 games. What a chance missed to educate. Remember that next week when players are wearing shirts and holding up banners to tick a box.

Actions Speak louder than words…

Dan Smith

11 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    Wasn’t that posted back in February??!! Wow… a one game ban!
    And to think people moan about what Ozil posts on SM… I’d rather read that over what this idiot has to say…..
    He’s claiming a friend betrayed him by selling this private snap chat post…which isn’t good, I’ll admit.. but you don’t say that sort of crap in the first place!

    1. Sean M says:

      I’m not sure about that, Sue.

      During the Edward Snowden aftermath, a lot was made of the need for privacy. The argument that we should all be willing to give up privacy as long as we’ve done nothing wrong misses the psychological need for a place where you can just be yourself without having to think how your thoughts and actions may be perceived. I know that if some my private conversations got out, I’d be a pariah.

      I have definitely said and done much worse that Delle; I have made racist and sexist jokes despite not being sexist or racist (honest). Examples of overt racism should have the book thrown at them, but Delle was having a laugh in private. Seems like a storm in a teacup to me.

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        I have to agree with Sean M. Do we police private conversations as well now?

        Obviously Alli was stupid to have a private conversation of that type on a social media platform, when we all know how easily that can go public, but for him, it was private.

        I have friends of all races and cultures, and we’ll all banter each other now and again about each others race, and cultures. Privately it’s fine, because we’re all friends, and the more we got to know each other, we all then new where the line was.

        1. Declan says:

          I’m with you TMJW and Sean M all the way on this, the world is going crazy with this PC thing!
          Anyway I’m off to watch Fawlty Towers, Dad’s Army and Gavin & Stacey while I still can 🤔

          1. Dan kit says:

            Same agree with all you guys 👍

          2. SueP says:

            With you all the way!

  2. Shakir says:

    I dont know man, even if its in a private conversation why be racist.And the funny thing is defending himself by calling it was just a ‘joke’.
    Of all the things in this world,he really had to make that ‘joke’.

    He apologized so i think the matter must be closed.

    1. SueP says:

      Tricky
      How do you define racism/banter/sexism?
      I hate to keep bringing it up but I’ve spent the best part of 50 years playing second fiddle to man/men who think the mother in law jokes are hilarious or feel the need to drive the car when I can do just as good a job. I mostly yawn and let it pass. Sometimes being above it all in my own mind suffices but I can at least laugh more often than not

      Let Fawlty Towers do it’s thing for heaven’s sake. Let’s stop being so disgusted by just about everything

      1. SueP says:

        And
        Is it racist for the French to call the English roast beef or the Australians to call us poms?
        People need to get a life

      2. Shakir says:

        You and my attitude its just different.If you think These so called ‘jokes’ has no impact on the future generations or even the ‘grown ups’ mindsets then its up to you fellow gooner.

        I believe what Dele did was wrong even if its just a ‘joke’.
        And like always we all have different opinions!🙄

        1. SueP says:

          Shakir
          I definitely think Alli shouldn’t have done what he did. He of all people should understand racism and it’s dehumanising effect. You only have to listen to Sterling to know that. Racism is disgraceful and needs addressing.

          I wasn’t being flippant either about women and their place in society. I should be treated as an equal along with anyone else

          However, I do feel that since BLM the goal posts have been moved from moving towards an equal society to instead tearing down our history-pleasant or not

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