Racism and Sport
Racism has long haunted popular sports such as football, but it can also occur on any pitch, course, track or arena. This can be especially true of sports such as golf or tennis in which racial minorities have a shorter professional history.
However, there is never any excuse for racist actions or chants pertaining to a particular sport and to say that racism only comes about when racial minorities become involved in a sport places the blame on the players rather than on those who actually perpetrate racism.
Confronting Racism in Sport
There have been many news stories in recent years regarding initiatives to eradicate racism in sport as well as official investigations into racist incidents involving players and fans. For example, the Show Racism the Red Card campaign ( http://www.srtrc.org/ ) is an anti-racist charity that tries to use professional footballers as role models to fight racism.
Not all efforts to confront racism in sport make the news. Every time one spectator reports the racist chanting of another, every time one player tells another that racist attitudes are not cool, and every time that players and spectators come together to congratulate the achievements of others regardless of their race, racism is confronted in sport.
However, no one should confront others about racism if they feel physically vulnerable or unsafe. Instead, observations should be made and a report can be filed at a later date. While reporting racism is important, staying safe and secure until such a report can be made is imperative.
Confronting racism in sport is important so that each player and spectator can enjoy a fair and equal experience.
Understanding racism, knowing how it pertains to sport and confronting examples of racism are all important to eventually ending racism in sport.