Racism In Football (soccer) : A solution.

Just for the record I hate racism and racists just like the next rational human being. In fact I hate, with everything I own, the very idea of discrimination in any form. I’d also support strong action- whatever form this takes- against those perpetrating the crime in order to stop or prevent it.

Racism in football has been an issue for ages now and despite the various  measures undertaken to prevent or stem it,it forges ahead undeterred. Hefty fines and other disciplinary measures being meted out on the perpetrators and the clubs involved seem all to nought. Probably we are doing this all WRONG.

I have a SOLUTION,but with your indulgence, I’ll take a short detour.

Like everyone of you,I grew up surrounded by friends, families, and enemies. During our various interactions, I got nicknames ranging from very loving to very offensive ones. Incidentally, the ones I rated very offensive didn’t always originate from my enemies.

I fought against those “labels” ferociously,until one day I noticed something: the shelf -life of a nickname was roughly directly proportional to the vigour in which I fought against it. Offensive nicknames lasted until both parties couldn’t even explain how it all started. But once a nickname stopped “pushing my buttons”,it readily receded into oblivion and with time it got forgotten.

As a teacher, I encountered the same situation. I took it in my stride and when I knew of one I’d have fun with it, and it worked like magic.   

Back to the story at hand of racist chants forcing a walkout of AC Milan during a match with  Pro Patria. I hope we all realize that during this unfortunate match, the racists won. They knew where the buttons were,pushed them and the aggrieved parties reacted predictably.

One thing we have to realize is that football/soccer, or any competition for that matter-even between religions- is never a religious affair. The supporters will do anything-and I mean anything- to make sure that the competition lost. I’m sure that if players were to listen to every word being uttered by competition’s supporters they’d never show their face in public let alone in a playing field. In fact most of the utterances are way worse than those racist chants; just scroll through your timeline on twitter of Facebook and you’ll see disgusting samples.

THE SOLUTION to these racist chants is for the players affected to stop giving away their power to simple-minded people who’s only aim is to psychologically unbalance them so that the whole team loses. Let the chants wash o over you like water on a ducks back. Show them you understand their ploy and you wouldn’t play to their tune; you aren’t their psychological puppet!

Once they realize that the chants aren’t having the desired impact,they’ll realize it’s them who come out looking like idiots, and the practice will peter out.

Of course those caught in the act of engaging in these racists insults should be punished like any other criminal. However,Anyone walking off the field because of such chants should quit competitive sports, or better yet come back to Africa where we actually eat those bananas…

It’s time for the sportsmen/women to act mature! The responsibility of ending racism in football rests on your ample shoulders!                      

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