Lord Ouseley article in Daily Mirror
Kick It Out chair, Lord Herman Ouseley, speaks about the battles still being fought to tackle racism in football, in today’s (April 28) Daily Mirror.
“Football has made huge strides in removing overt racism from football stadia over the past two decades.
“This has been achieved both through work with players and fans as well as close consultation with the football authorities.
“The most unsavoury elements of terrace culture associated with the 70s and 80s, such as monkey chanting and banana throwing, are thankfully a thing of the past. Today, a perpetrator is often likely to be shouted down and brought to book by his or her own fans.
“The case of Port Vale’s Exodus Geohaghon, however, is a depressing throwback.
“The grainy footage on a mobile phone as he left the field during his team’s fixture against Accrington Stanley featured horrendous language more at home at a BNP/National Front march than at a League Two fixture.
“Since its inception in 1993, Kick It Out has always been very clear about the distinction between acceptable abuse and racially motivated abuse. Black players are there to be booed just as their white counterparts are when fans are fed up or find them incompetent.
“The distinction, however, needs to be made between abuse because of poor performance and when it’s meted out due to race, religion or nationality.
“If Geohaghon played below par, then he’ll expect the boos that will come his way. But racist abuse? That’s when the line has been crossed.
“In recent years we have seen incidents of homophobia and islamaphobia. The campaign’s latest film, The Y-Word, tackled the subject of anti-Semitism with the help of Frank Lampard and Ledley King.
“Racism is still a feature in society and some play out their prejudices at football matches. The battles many thought had been won are still there to be fought. And supporters have a key role to play.”
From Daily Mirror