Racism: Is Sport Getting It Wrong?

Racism has been a problem in sport, probably ever since sport began. Two high-profile incidents over the last year have caused racism to raise it’s ugly head once again: Luis Suarez/Patrice Evra and John Terry/Anton Ferdinand.

Racism: Kick It Out

Both players were punished by the FA, with John Terry having to have his case reviewed by the courts. But are the bans too lenient and are sports governing bodies doing enough to prevent incidents of racism occurring in the future? Luis Suarez was banned for 8 matches and fined £40,000 (probably half a week’s wage), John Terry was banned for 4 matches, stripped of the England captaincy and fined £220,000 (probably a week’s wage). These are people who are paid far too much money to begin with – during the FA hearing John Terry turned up in a different car each day. Giving them a comparatively small fine just makes a mockery of the whole situation.

 John Terry

Not only should the players be fined, but the clubs should also be punished. It’s understandable that insults are traded in the heat of the moment, but anyone with an ounce of sense knows that racial slurs and insults are wrong. If clubs were to be punished by having league points deducted and heavy fines levied as well as long player suspensions maybe they will take time to drill it into the players’ thick skulls that they should keep their mouths shut on the pitch?

Luis Suarez

Whilst incidents of racism are rare it is something that needs to be stamped permanently, and not just in sport. There are millions of youngsters who idolise the likes of Terry and Suarez and will no doubt copy their actions. With these lenient bans the FA are sending the wrong message to people – yes you shouldn’t do it but if you do the punishment isn’t that bad.

With the ever-increasing multi-cultural society in which we live it is becoming even more important to stamp out racism, starting with a high-profile sport and personalities is (one of) the best ways to promote to people that it wont be tolerated.

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