The Delroy Alexander column: Dark clouds on the horizon
So it’s official, Chelsea captain John Terry is not a racist, he was simply responding to a racist taunt with the same racist taunt.
Wow. You have to laugh or else you cry, when you think of the blatant socialization and issues of racism, bias and bigotry that recent cases have raised.
Most of us are well aware of the rich, vibrant language that colours our national pastime at the highest level. But the bright media spotlight has made the almost routine nature of verbal abuse dished out on professional football fields everywhere seem, well, disgusting in the cold light of print, TV and the Internet.
It matters not if you echo racist sentiments in jest, rhetoric or response. And that goes for another former England captain too.
Using an offensive label to describe your thoughts about what you believe is an unsatisfactory situation is no less abominable.
There is no hiding it football. We need to do serious work on race relations in the backrooms and changing rooms of all 92 league clubs.
It really pains me to say this. But, there is a clear and undeniable culture of racism running through the heart of the game. And if you don’t tackle it, I fear the government or some other official agency will.
I know this much, black professional players have had enough. And I suspect we’re going to see more and more issues relating to racism rather than less.
Top black players might not be complaining publicly yet, but they are privately. They want to see change and are preparing to make that happen.
Be warned football, a storm is brewing unless appropriate measures are taken, and that means asking for help from outside the game.
By Delroy Alexander
Delroy Alexander is chairman of the Sacred Sports Foundation, a not for profit charity based in the St. Lucia. He is a seasoned sports administrator and is a former Chicago Tribune senior investigative business reporter and a Pulitzer Prize nominee journalist. Founded by former Lincoln City and Macclesfield Town manager Keith Alexander, the Sacred Sports Foundation uses sport to working with disadvantaged Caribbean youth. As well as having partnered with the St Lucia Football Association, the Foundation has signed a three year agreement with Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) and secured important grants from UNESCO and the Australian Government among others. In 2013, the Foundation will host a major conference, Sport in Black & White, focusing on actively looking for and implementing game changing solutions. And will be writing regularly on issues of importance to help spark the debate and to be a catalyst for change.
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