Monkey Noises In Soccer and Racist Slurs in Football
Considering we are almost in 2014, I am of the opinion that there are some things which people should come together and talk about more often – things such as racism and bullying. At some point, people should say: “enough is enough”.
News broke yesterday of a Miami Dolphins player (Richie Incognito), who allegedly bullied another player (Jonathan Martin) on the team, going as far as calling him a “half-nigger” (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9926139/richie-incognito-miami-dolphins-used-slurs-messages-jonathan-martin), as reported by ESPN. This landed Mr. Incognito a suspension from the team, until further investigations.
This sort of disrespectful attitude is certainly not exclusive to football. In soccer, a sport which I follow due to my European up-bringing, stories of racial slurs are often in the news. And they are not coming just from one country, or one group of fans. The stories vary.
A few years ago, a Liverpool striker, Luiz Suarez was suspended for eight games and fined forty thousand pounds for making racists comments towards a Manchester United player, Patrice Evra. One would think that having one or two such cases come out in public, things would turn for the better. Not so.
Last week, UEFA started an investigation regarding “monkey noises” coming from the fans of CSKA Moskow, in their game against Manchester City (http://asia.eurosport.com/football/champions-league/2013-2014/city-to-go-to-uefa-after-toure-subjected-to-monkey-taunts-in-moscow_sto3977365/story.shtml). Of course, the Russian team’s spokesperson is denying the allegations and the findings of the investigation are still pending but with such cases appearing in the news year after year, I tend to think that this happens more often than it is even probably reported.
Only last year, we had Serbian fans involving themselves in racist chants and “monkey noises”, in a game between England and Serbia (http://vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=147113). This last link which I posted also shows a comment at the bottom of the article which reads things such as: “At least we still have a proper, healthy understanding of nigger and treat it as such.”
Racism and bullying are obviously alive and perhaps even flourishing in some groups of people and I do not think that the United European Football Association or the National Football League can solve this problem. What I think we can do is speak more often and with more conviction about such things and together, try to find solutions.
All these people who make such comments are at one point or another, condoned by those around them. More so, these people have families and friends. Are they all racist bullies, or do they just chose not to speak-out, as to not cause friction? I am not sure of the answer here.
What I am sure of, is that this type of disrespectful and hurtful attitude must change. One person cannot create the needed change but when people unite and speak with one voice, things do change. We cannot possibly allow bullies and racist individuals walk around hurting other people for their own pleasure.
Note: My photograph, London, England, May, 2013
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