The Kenya Forum | Racism in football: the virus that haunts us - The Kenya Forum

January 5, 2012


Racism has no place in football. The beautiful game has brought together more people in common cause than many other contrived notion. We must let its beauty and ability to bring common ground flourish above racism.

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Racism in football: the virus that haunts us

Racism in football: the virus that haunts us

Football is a globally loved game and it is also the most popular sport in the world. It’s a game that has come a long way in bringing together and unifying people from different backgrounds in terms of race, tribe, gender and status amongst other characteristics. At club level we have seen people from different countries with different races playing together all with one aim: winning games and achieving their set goals.

Racism undermining football: the game that has the power to unite us

Unfortunately this game which has the capacity to bring people together also has the capacity to divide and is still being troubled by a serious recurring virus in the form of racism. Despite several campaigns from different groups and organisations and even the efforts of FIFA in curbing and even kicking out this vicious menace, the game is still deeply affected, and has been from time immemorial. The recent incidents involving Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra or the John Terry, Anton Ferdinand fracas  are just the tip of the iceberg, and what the overall game is experiencing, mostly do not make the  headlines.

As John Terry awaits his fate on February 1st, Luis Suarez was handed an eight match ban by FA which is harsh, but deserved. It helps at sending out a strong message that the issue will be taken seriously.

According to Rich Mkhondo’s piece “Racism deserves to get the red card”, The Suarez-Evra and Terry-Ferdinand incidents should help us to mature, bringing perspectives to the fore and posing important questions such as why people act in these horrific ways, and what do these terrible events have to do with the everyday racism; the sort that does not make the headlines? He went on to quote from Eli Siegel’s (American educator who founded the Philosophy of Aesthetic Realism) book James and the Children “the greatest sin that a person can have is the desire for contempt. Because as soon as you have contempt, as soon as you don’t want to see another person as having the fullness that you have, you can rob that person, hurt that person, kill that person.” Contempt, Aesthetic Realism explains, is the cause of every injustice – from ethnic ridicule and slurs to the deadly forms of racism, bombs and war.

The Forum thinks we are all part of this disease and we are all to blame and unless we take it upon ourselves to stop it, racism will continue living with us. The Forum hopes that more incidents  of racism be brought into the limelight and dealt with.


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