For the last couple of weeks football has been looking itself in the mirror after a couple of high-profile racial incidents, with the likes of Kick It Out highlighting a rise in such cases. Raheem Sterling has questioned the media’s coverage, but has he been treated any differently to a Wayne Rooney, Jon Terry or Ashley Cole? Hasn’t the press always singled out our best English talent? Sterling is picked on but not for the colour of his skin. If the press were racists, wouldn’t Kyle Walker, Rashford, Lingard, Young, Rose, etc also have received negative headlines in the summer?
Instead of blaming the tabloids we need to change the culture of supporters, what makes them think a football stadium gives them licence to act differently to how they would elsewhere? The four Chelsea fans being investigated for abusing Sterling are insisting no racial language was used. Is that okay then? If it’s proven they didn’t use racial words, does that make it okay to swear, threaten and intimidate another human being?
Let’s not just make this a racial debate. If the UK want to do more than pay lip service to the issue, then zero tolerance needs to be introduced at match days. Why is it okay to call Nasri the C word in front of children, or sing, ‘she said no Robin’? Isn’t it sad in 2018 the idea of me suggesting all of that should be cut out seems naive?
But racists are idiots, they haven’t got the brain the majority have to differentiate between banter, swearing and breaking the law. That’s not the sports but societies job to educate. Yet this week the courts didn’t even support the game in shaming individuals.
Two weeks ago, Aubameyang had a banana thrown at him during the North London Derby. Spurs to their credit have banned this man for life, not listening to his feeble excuse that he just happened to be littering at a time his side went 1-0 down. Legally though he’s only been banned for 4 years while fined a small sum of £500. So, the most watched sport in the UK is being put under pressure to improve a society problem yet those in power undermine a club’s zero tolerance policy? What does that teach the next generation?
Worse, as this man’s lawyer has been quick to point out, no evidence could be found that his actions were racial.
What happened to all parties shaming these people? Making them go to work, face their families admitting the dark side they hide from them. That in their spare time they racially abuse others. This man in question admits his actions were stupid but not racial. How can he rehabilitate when he won’t admit to himself there is an issue?
What’s even worse he now wants to meet any Arsenal or Spurs players he may have offended. Of course you do. It’s insulting that he wants to look an Ian Wright in the face and even try to convince himself that throwing a banana at a black man is not racial. Instead of trying to meet Harry Kane, he’s one of many who should be kept away from the game for ever. Only then would he question himself.
But I guess society’s not ready for zero policy yet? How many times have we judged other nations for not showing racism the red card?
ADMIN NOTE – An Arsenal fan that threw a plastic bottle at Spurs players in the same game was fined £650…