OPINION: Football has to stamp out racism in the sport
The racism we have seen becoming more and more prominent in modern day football has to stop. Things are sadly getting worse and it cannot be allowed to continue.
Over the past week, we’ve heard of Manchester United’s, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe all suffering racist abuse online as well as West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers.
But this isn’t a new thing, anyone who thinks that there isn’t a problem in football needs to watch Micah Richards’ ‘Tackling Racism’ documentary. Racist abuse is becoming more and more a part of life for black professional footballers. In November 2019, the Home Office announced a 66% increase in hate crime in football compared to the previous year.
Part of me hopes that the people doing this are young, ignorant people who will learn better with appropriate education. However, the man arrested for sending abuse to Sawyers was 49 years old which would suggest it goes further.
This issue isn’t just limited to football, it sadly stems from a wider problem in society.
Hate crime offences recorded by the police have been on the rise steadily over the past decade and there were over 105,000 in 2020 compared to just over 39,000 in 2013.
A lot has been said about the role social media companies have to play in this and more definitely needs to be done to hold users to account.
It’s far too easy for someone to send abuse and hide behind an anonymous profile.
However, abuse doesn’t just happen online. If fans had been allowed into games over the past 12 months, we would have definitely had incidents inside grounds.
Is it any wonder that so many players feel strongly about taking the knee before games?
Don’t let people tell you its players supporting a Marxist organisation. They do it because the issue of racism is so real to so many of them.
Football in this country was supposed to have moved past the dark times of the 1980s where racism was so rife.
We all have a part to play in challenging and educating those around us to make sure we don’t get back there.