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Racism in Football

Sunday 8th January 2012
With all the allegations of racism against various high profile players,I begin to wonder what has happened to our beautiful game? Surely in this day and age, where racism has no place in society in should have no place in our sport. Maybe the charges brought to Terry and Suarez will stamp out racism but I fear the damage has been done already. Maybe the sport has gone wrong at grass-root level? If we're producing players nowadays that don't respect their opponents or themselves, then surely something is not quite right. I'm not trying to insinuate that people watching the game will copy Terry and Suarez but it does not shine a great light on football itself. From the outside it looks as though football is behind the rest of society and yet to come out of the dark ages.

There are enough campaigns against racism in place already such as the FA's 'Kick racism out of football campaign'. These campaigns evidently aren't working at the top level. Maybe the FA needs to work more closely with schools and young players to get the message across that racism in any level during any situation is not acceptable. Then possibly the next generation of players will grow up with a different attitude and this historic, pathetic attitude can be eradicated all together. Then maybe something good will of come from this situation.

The severity of the Suarez punishment has been talked about a lot in the media during the trial and afterwards. In terms of other bans handed out by the FA, 8 games is a long time. These shorter bans have been given for what is considered to FA to be smaller offences. I question whether 8 games is severe enough for an offence of this kind. After all, racism is illegal. If the racist comment had been over head by a spectator who took the matter to police, Suarez could be,like Terry, facing criminal charges rather than missing a few football matches. This shows that this matter goes beyond that of a game,but is relevant beyond sport.

With the Stephen Lawrence story flying around the news at the minute, these racist allegations in sport could hardly come at a worse time, especially for Suarez and Terry. With the Lawrence story showing that racially fueled crime still exists and still appalls the people of our nation, Terry and Suarez ought to be ashamed to be linked with such offence. Although their offences are of course less severe, it shows that we have learnt nothing from the racially fueled murders of years gone by.

Football has a strange way of effecting people like nothing else. Surely now its time to use that influence in a positive way. Over recent years, the press have written various stories in which footballer's have been slandered. News of affairs, super-injunctions,drugs and now racism have hit the tabloids and shone footballers in a terrible light. I do not blame the media, after all its their job to report on things people want to know. I blame the players involved.I think it time that players stood up and began to make a difference. It's time for them to become good role models and in turn make the next generation of players, better professionals and people.
Adam Russell
Bolton Fan and Blackpool youth player,football is my life

Total articles: 7

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