Partly why I left the UK ( and Europe ) last year was because of far right groups like like UKIP, National Front (NF) , British National Party ( BNP ). These racist and fascist groups are getting stronger as they aim at building their own evil networks across the continent. If you are from the USA then these groups have similar ideologies akin to the Klu Klux Klan ( KKK ). I think these groups and behaviours has to be critically examined and fought at all levels before I can think about returning. No joke I’ve had a BAD experience and that topic is for another blog or even book for that matter.
Generally, racism and nationalism is part of almost every aspect of our lives. Whether it is on the news or through personal experience, we see racism all around us. It seems like we have simply accepted racism as part of our lives. It does not look like people really want to put in the effort that will change it once and for all. However, there is one aspect of almost every life where racism could be eliminated easily while still making a huge impact on the overall fight. This aspect is sports. Sports are unarguably an integral part of our society today.
Yesterday it made my skin crawl when I read that Mo Farah’s half-marathon record is not European. That was a claim made by former European half-marathon record holder Fabian Roncero whom says Farah has broken ‘the record for Somalia’. To me, that is racism thinly veiled as nationalism and it is ugly, especially in sports. I am totally against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees such as Mo, who came to Britain to join his British father as a refugee from war-torn Somalia.
Racisim in sports happens everywhere. People who discriminate others bring racism into sport. And racisim in sport has a thousand forms. As recently in South Africa, or in US major league baseball until 1947, you could practise total segregation. Or, as in Britain and Europe, you may chant abuse and obscenities from the stands. Football (Soccer) supporters in Spain, Italy, Holland and all over Eastern Europe and Russia have demonstrated over the years they are the most ignorant bunch of all. Despite active campaigns by FIFA to end this stuff, the monkey chants and all the other nonsense continue.
In Golf, only a few minority players, such as Tiger Woods, have dominated professional golf. After winning the 1997 Masters Tournament, Woods faced ridicule from Fuzzy Zoeller, who won this championship in 1979. Zoeller responded to Woods’ win by stating “That little boy is driving well and he’s putting well. He’s doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here. You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not serve fried chicken next year. Got it.” Zoeller says his comments were misconstrued and later apologised.
Racisim in sports is ubiquitous. So what to do? Well I know that there are reports and projects such as Football for Equality. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) released a report claiming that racial abuse and vilification is commonplace in Australian sport. And a report by the Fare network and Sova Center highlights more than 200 cases of discriminatory behaviour linked to Russian football over two seasons. The Fare network is an organisation which works to combat racism in the game for European football’s governing body Uefa, while the Moscow-based Sova Center conducts research on nationalism and racism.
Fifa’s president Sepp Blatter said that ”Racism is one of the items which is on my agenda on the very top, every day. If it does not stop then there must be some sanctions,”. Well Sepp, if it does stop, then perhaps I’ll consider a move back to Britain and Europe.