Racism in Football

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The phenomenon of racism in football is not as old as the conflict of racism in society in general, but neither is it as recent as the current worrying situation in which some to believe (Back et al.1998). Back et al. (1998) identified that football grounds have provided one of the largest public arenas in which racism can be openly expressed. It is against this background that the phenonomenon of racism in football has led to wide spread discussion during the past couple of decades within the media, amongst policy makers and in the wider football community. Recently, there has been a increase in the study of sport, racism and ethnicity (Jarvie 1991). Numerous factors which will be explained have undoubtedly contributed to fuel this interest. However, a couple of considerations appear to have been of great importance. Firstly, black sportsmen and sportswomen throughout the world have experienced remarkable 'successes' in international sport (Jarvie 1991). According to Mercer, (1994) and Shohat and Stam, 1994) this may be due to the fact that apparently each positive stereotype has a negative result. Therefore, as black men and women have come to excel in various sports, people of a non ethnic backgroundhave needed an explanation for why what seemed to be an inferior race can outperform a superior one. This may be one of many factors which may have encouraged resentment for their success which in turn could have lead to abuse in a racist nature. Secondly, a disproportionately high level of athletic participation by diverse ethnic minority cultures has often been used by 'liberal minded' sports enthusiasts as an excuse to indicate that there is no racism in these arenas. These authors use these examples to try and illustrate that there is no form or racism in certain sports, however authors such as (Williams 1992, 1994; Turner 1990; Holland 1992a, 1992b, 1995) have

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