Racism in Football


Racism in football has been always a point of concern for the players and fans. Racism is defined as the players and fans being abused due to their color, race or ethnicity. There have been a number of serious racial bias incidents reported until 1989, but these have been decreasing since then. Due to the increasing reach of media, many sources are available today which offer an insight about the football racism, for example, websites, research articles, books and videos. This paper first summarizes 4 different types of sources which described various incidents of football racism, and then present the major causes and effects of racism in the light of summarized sources.


Summary of the Sources

The worse-ever situation faced by the black football players has been illustrated in an article by narrating the story when Paul Canoville, the first black footballer was selected as a substitute to play for Chelsea, 30 years ago. Both the team players as well as the fans depicted strong hatred for him due to his color, regardless of his talent. It was the time when racial discrimination in the sport of football was not considered as an issue by the clubs or football supporters. However, this season the change becomes significantly remarkable when Chelsea had 6 black players.

The racism in the football has been encouraged by the influence of community based tensions on the behavior of players; moreover, white players have historically been successful in football which has made them feel superior. The tension has been sustained for so long because the clubs were negligent towards the issues. However, the negative consequences resulting from the football racism motivated the clubs and other authorized bodies to develop policies and take necessary actions to control the situation; a research article has comprehensively shed light on these efforts made. The reason for which the racism control has become possible is the increased reach of media.

The selected book described the issues of corruption, homophobia, racism and violence in the football and considered them as the dark side of the sport. The authors conducted extensive research and collected the responses of football fans through an online portal. The major causes behind the sustainability of football racism for so long include the lack of understanding of the players that color does not provide any kind of superiority and their desire to resist authority. It has been described by the authors that although the violence and racism in the football have significantly been controlled due to the change in government policies, the dark side is still not completely eliminated.

Finally, the selected video narrates the central idea that the racism has not only been an issue in the sport of football due to the White players’ feelings’ of being culturally superior but black players are also responsible to some extent. Some of the situation where black players abused the white, or when white players are supporting the black against the abuse made by some other players can be seen in the video. Balotelli is shown to be crying being hurt by racial abuse. The discomfort and frustration spread in the audience of the sports is also being visualized in cases when the players started to fight in the ground.


Analysis of the above sources indicates that the major causes of the football racism is firstly, the feeling of being culturally superior in the white players. This feeling has been established since long in the white community and thus it influences the players of the football teams. At times, this racism becomes so strong that it overrides the professional behavior and sportsman spirit. The game itself has no means of inducing the violence or racism, the responsibility is therefore on the shoulders of players and authorities. Another cause due to which the racism in the football could not be controlled for decades long period is the fact that before advancement of media, none of the clubs, players or football fans realize that the racism could bring negative consequences to the overall image to the football and the players. This might be because that in the era of 1960’s, racism was not only there in football but every black was abused in the routine life. Gradually, the perceptions of citizens kept on changing, however, due to the established expertise and fame of whites in the football sport, the racism continued in the sport.

Like all aspects of life, racism brings negative effects to the football sports. Racism clearly results in hurting the players and fans of both white and black races. As shown in the mentioned video, Balotelli ended up crying in front of everyone being insulted by the white players would result in hatred for the white players. Looking at their favorite players crying or frustrated, there is high probability that the fans become desperate and indulge in race based conflicts with the other fans and even the players. Not only the fans of black players would begin to hate the white players but their image would be spoiled in their own fan base. Therefore, the players and anyone who involves in a racist activity need to understand that the sport does not represent them only but the consequences are reflected on the entire society.


This paper presented discussion on the cause and effect of the football racism in the light of recent sources. The perceived cultural superiority of white players and the prolonged negligence of clubs towards the issue of racial abuse have been identified as the major causes of prolonged racism. The presence of racism has been bringing negative consequences not only for the black players but also for white and the entire society. The increasing reach and influence of media in the sports industry has been playing a vital role for reducing the racism in this sport. In conclusion, the football racism has been significantly reduced over the past few decades improving the collaboration between the players of different races. However, the policies and legislations need to be developed further in order to reduce the negative effects the football racism brings to the players and the fans.

Apr 27, 2020 in Communications
Bio-Psycho-Social Assessment
Confucian Concepts

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