In 2012 racism in football has become significantly less common in the UK due, in part, to changes in wider society but also because of awareness campaigns and codes of conduct put in place by the sport's governing bodies and the Professional Footballers Association. The Football Association, Premier League and Football League have, for example, developed codes of conduct for staff, players and fans as well as funding and promoting anti-racism campaigns by organisations such as Kick it Out and Show Racism the Red Card.
Recent incidents of racist abuse in the UK, both on and off the pitch, have highlighted the fact that racism is a continuing problem. Some of the evidence we have heard, as well as recent media coverage, have demonstrated that social media has become both a tool for the spread of racist and abusive content and a potential means of combating the ignorance and prejudice that lie behind such behaviour. We believe that the football authorities should be using this developing forum for communication and debate, to spread positive messages about equality and diversity and also to speak out against instances of racist abuse when they occur.
The atmosphere experienced by those attending football matches has changed hugely since the 1970s and 80s when racial and other forms of abuse were common. Match attendance has become much more of a family-friendly activity and clubs continue to introduce measures to try to improve the standards of behaviour at matches. However, there remain significant problems ranging from homophobic abuse to what is often described as "laddish behaviour" on the terraces. Transparent and consistent methods for reporting criminal behaviour including racism are still lacking, in particular at grass roots level. There is also a clear need to encourage more candidates from ethnic minorities to train as coaches and referees to ensure that clubs and boards can select from a more diverse pool of recruits from within the football pyramid.
While the general level of progress in combating racism and racist abuse is positive and should be applauded, there is much more that can and should be done.
Editor's comments - [ In the 1980s racially motivated abuse was, as stated by the equality and inclusion campaign group 'Kick it Out', "commonplace in and around football". Kick it Out now reports that "incidents of racism are rare". However, racist behaviour has not been banished from the game and there are still reports of incidents occurring within and outside of matches. Racism in football has dominated the headlines of newspapers after a series of high profile events, on-pitch incidents and reported comments in England, Holland, Bulgaria, Turkey and most recently in Ukraine and Poland during the European Championship 2012. ] Reference this?CMS Committee (2012). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from In the text: CMS Committee (2012)
Reference : HoC CMS Committee. (2012). Racism in Football: Second Report of Session 2012–13. London: TSO
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