Connect with us

World News

Euro 2020: Racism rears its ugly head — again




Euro 2020: Racism rears its ugly head — again

One of the lasting and most compelling images of the Euro 2020 was that of England players taking the knee before their games to highlight racial inequality and discrimination.

Those efforts were undone in the early hours of Monday morning.

As if losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy wasn’t bad enough for most English fans, the country woke up to the news of online racist abuse leveled at the Black players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who missed their penalties.

Condemnation was swift and strong across the board. The Football Association (FA) issued a statement shortly after the game denouncing the incidents.

“The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media,” the statement said.

“We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behavior is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also tweeted his condemnation and urged police to take strong action and to implement “the toughest punishments possible.”

A Metropolitan Police tweet said: “We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final. This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated, and it will be investigated.”

Police in Greater Manchester were called to investigate reports of a defaced mural of Rashford in the Manchester suburb of Withington.

A Twitter spokesman said on Monday that the platform had removed over 1,000 abusive posts and permanently suspended a number of accounts.

An ongoing problem

Racism in football is, unfortunately, a ubiquitous phenomenon, and Black players are targeted around the world, whether in amateur or professional leagues.

In one of England’s Euro 2020 qualifiers, some of England’s Black players were subjected to racist abuse by a section of Bulgaria fans.

The sounds of monkey chants and images of fans performing Nazi salutes were broadcast around the world. At the time, many observers hoped that the incident would be a pivotal wake-up call in football’s ongoing fight against racism. However, the response by UEFA, Europe’s governing football body, was seen as lackluster at best. It handed out a fine of €85,000 ($101,000) and banned fans from attending the next match. Given that Bulgaria was in the midst of another ban for a similar incident, many observers questioned UEFA’s handling of the matter.

England is often referred to as the birthplace of football — a game that is supposed to have a unifying impact on all walks of society. So why is it such a problem in England?

“Despite the liberalizing of English (and British) society that started in the 1960s, there remains, arguably, an atmosphere of spiteful aggression within a significant sociocultural constituency. Pre-social media, the tabloids tended to pander to this, and now social media provides a perfect conduit for its expression. In the last 50 years at least, football fandom has been tainted by this mentality,” Paul Davis, senior lecturer in the sociology of sport at the University of Sunderland, told DW via email.

Systemic racism

Although more and more footballers are speaking out against racism and describing the impact it has on their professional and personal lives, they are not always being heard. Chris Grant, a board member of Sport England, a non-departmental public body under the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport that tackles inequalities in sport, has noted that the “systemic” nature of racism across society and politics fuels racism in sport.

A study commissioned by the Professional Footballers’ Association Charity last year found that 43% of Premier League players have experienced online racist abuse.

The FA has launched a myriad of campaigns to combat racism. Much of it, you could argue, has been too little, too late. Davis says there’s only so much it can do.

“I think the FA are doing a lot, and it is not clear what more they can do. In the end, it is about changing the hearts and minds of some people. If people, for whatever reasons, enjoy othering, abusing and spiting others, the FA have a hard job trying to change that,” he said.

Some might argue that the negative reactions to a gesture like taking the knee — the argument being that it’s a political statement that has no place in sports — inevitably nullify other attempts by politicians to crack down on racism. Davis says that’s not the case.

“That effect is not inevitable. Taking the knee is a precise practice with a precise background. The naysayers have their reasons for rejection of the practice. There are different reasons, and it might be that some or all of them are questionable. However, the controversy around taking the knee does not entail that other anti-racism initiatives in sport and elsewhere are doomed,” he said.



Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

Follow Thaiger by email:

Philippines27 mins ago

ICC opens investigation into Philippines President Duterte

World29 mins ago

American general defends “clandestine” phone calls with China

Thailand32 mins ago

Countdown to October reopening; body of Koh Phi Phi resort manager found | Thailand News Today | September 16

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Visa1 hour ago

Hungarian woman arrested in Koh Samui for 10-year overstay

Thailand2 hours ago

Nakhon Si Thammarat reports Covid outbreak at prison

Guides2 hours ago

Most famous viewpoints in Phang Nga

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Blackpink2 hours ago

Blackpink’s Lisa causes sales frenzy for Buri Ram meatballs

Thailand3 hours ago

NACC ordered to disclose their findings regarding Deputy PM Prawit’s watch scandal

World3 hours ago

“Thai Taste Therapy” launched to promote Thai cuisine worldwide

Food4 hours ago

Food and drinks to stay away from in Thailand

Thailand4 hours ago

Ode to the Comments | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 19

Pattaya4 hours ago

Pattaya reopening likely to snub nightlife, favor other attractions

Thailand4 hours ago

Epidemiologists dispatched to Phuket to help curb the spread of Covid

Phuket5 hours ago

Phuket Vegetarian Festival gets “green light” to run from October 6 to 14

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 13,897 new cases; provincial totals

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11