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Monday, July 12, 2010

Racism still rears ugly head in soccer - BV on Sports

Racism still rears ugly head in soccer - BV on Sports

Beyond Spain's spectacular win in the FIFA World Cup final was a less talked about issue. Racism. It's an ugly thorn in the beautiful game.

As well as fans at European games, coaches and officials have become infamous for heckling black players. They've been seen to chant "monkey" at them, throw bananas onto the field, spit, and hold up insulting signs like the one held by fans intended for French player, Thierry Henry, that read, "Peanuts and bananas are the pay for your infamy.

Some players, like Italian player Marc Zoro, originally from Cameroon, have become so fed up with taunts that they have walked off the field in the middle of play.

Racism still rears ugly head in soccer

But the racism isn't exclusive to just the fans. Luis Aragones, coach of the Spanish national team, was overheard saying to one of his players about Thierry Henry, arguably the best player in the world: "Show that black piece of sh*t that you're better than he is." Aragones was fined $5000, but continues to coach.
Thierry took it upon himself, with Nike's sponsorship, and with other players of color to create ads criticizing the blatant racism, holding a sign in a Nike commercial that says: "We are still abused for the color of our skin." More...
We have got to push for stronger sanctions against people like the coach of the Spanish national team, Luis Aragones. At a minimum participants who engage in such anti-social behavior should be fined and suspended from competitive play. We have to stand up and stamp out racism wherever we see it. If we tolerate this type of ignorance some people will continue to exhibit it.  They must be made to pay a price for their behavior.

John H. Armwood

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