Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Racism in sports

Authorities in England have probably done more than any sporting nation to attack racism. Certainly authorities in places like Italy and Spain could take note. Fans in both countries have been known to make monkey noises directed at black soccer players. Sections of Lazio (in Rome) 'supporters' sing songs in honor of the murderous Balkans' war criminal Arkan. Spain is where some idiots launched disgusting attacks on black Formula 1 driver Louis Hamilton. This happened in Barcelona, one of the cultural capitals of Europe, supposedly one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The tolerance of Spanish and Italian societies for this garbage is what's truly shocking.

Eastern Europe is reportedly much worse.

English soccer officials have no doubt taken the problem of hatred seriously, unlike most on the continent. But sadly, it's reared its ugly head again.

The Israeli manager of the London club Chelsea has received disgraceful anti-Semitic death threats against both him and his wife as well as a package containing white powder.

There's nothing wrong with losing yourself once in a while in sports. And I realize that being a supporter or fan has an inherently tribal dynamic. But that doesn't mean supporters or fans have to act like primitive savages.

No comments: