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Racism in Sport Essay | An Analysis

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 2097 words Published: 7th Jun 2017

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The topic that has been chosen to talk about is racism because it has been around for many years but still has not be eradicated from some sports which still have racism going around today.

Racism occurs every day and everywhere we cannot get away from it. It is one of the major issues which occur at many different levels in certain fields. In sports racism is happening more often also becoming a much bigger problem.

Sports plus Leagues such as the Barclay’s premiership, Major League Baseball, cricket and NBA (National Basketball Association) consider that they are putting down rules which will get rid of the constant occurrences of racism in the league and sports.

Some Players believe that the leagues, sports and associations are only making the situation worse when they are trying to deal with it, going over the top on certain issues and situations. however when we look at the whole picture we see how the leagues and sports feel as though they have to do something because it is absolutely certain that it is not the image that they want to depict to a youthful society as role models and powerful people to the spectators.

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If you look back at the past history you will be able to see that black people also known as African-American athletes had to go through some of the toughest of times as sports people/participants and you could say world weren’t supportive with black athletes or athlete on a sports team or participating in a sporting event, so most of that made the African-American community tougher since they were struggling people compared to over races.

For example if you take a look at a number or real black sporting legends in the early days you will know how hard it was for them.

One of the first evidence of racism was towards Jesse Owens in the Berlin Olympics 1936 who was one of the first black people to be noticed in the Olympics; also he shocked the world by winning 4 gold medals in the Olympics.

“Hitler’s Nazi party was in power and persecution of the Jews and others had already begun. However, the IOC insisted that the games should take place. Hitler used the games for propaganda purposes to show the superiority of the German people. The black American athlete Jesse Owens defeated Hitler’s aim by winning four gold medals. Hitler congratulated the German winners but not Owens” (AQA, sports examined, Beashel, Sibson, Taylor, pg 332)

This is a major issue because racism is still going on today in certain sports and has not been fully erased yet so it needs to be dealt with.

I’m now going to show you two pieces of evidence to prove that racism is still about in sports.

Article 1


Spain struggles to tackle sport racism

However, cases of serious discrimination or violence based on race seem no more prevalent in Spain than in other western European countries.

Where it is possible to point the finger at Spain is for its wide tolerance for less extreme forms of racism – like using race as a way to hurl insults or make fun of someone.

‘Acceptable’ abuse

Four years ago, British football players Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole were the target of monkey chants from Spanish fans during an international friendly in Madrid.

British fans were outraged, but for many Spanish fans this is seen as an acceptable way of abusing the opposition. It regularly occurs in Spanish league games.

That incident followed Spanish national football coach Luis Aragones making abusive racist comments about French striker Thierry Henry.

You could imagine that sort of incident in Britain leading to the resignation of the national football coach – not in Spain.

The Spanish Football Federation was very slow to take action, but did eventually end up fining Aragones. The Spanish press reacted, but not with much of a sense of outrage.

The decision by a small group of fans to paint themselves black and taunt Lewis Hamilton with racist abuse at the Formula One circuit in Barcelona was denounced by Spain’s sporting authorities.

But there is a definite sense among sports followers here that the British press is exaggerating an incident that could have happened anywhere to suit an anti-Alonso bias.

Spain’s Fernando Alonso and Hamilton are two former team-mates who rowed publicly last season.

And Spanish sports fans – through their comments posted on news websites – often seem to condemn and excuse the abuse at the same time, seeing it not so much as racism but as bad taste in the context of a fierce sporting rivalry.

‘Lamentable insults’

Jaime Martin edits the Formula One section of Marca, Spain’s biggest selling sports newspaper.

”It’s been exaggerated in the news reports a bit. It was only four or five people who were doing this in the context of the competition between Alonso and Lewis,” he says.

“It’s certain that the insults were racist, but if Lewis was bald the insults would have related to his baldness.”

Like Mr Martin, many Spaniards do not see much difference between racist insults based on the colour of someone’s skin and other forms of verbal abuse.

”These sorts of racist insults are lamentable and racist insults need to be eradicated, and so do non-racist forms of abuse” says Mr Martin.

On the website of national newspaper El Pais the racism directed at Lewis Hamilton is confronted in a sideways manner.

Article 2


Warren hits out at Khan Racism

Amir Khan’s promoter Frank Warren has hit out at the young fighters critics after the 23-year-old defended his WBA light welterweight title against Dmitriy Salita in just 76 seconds.

Khan, who has been booed since his defeat at the hands of Colombian Bredis Prescott 15 months ago, controversially claimed he would be a superstar if he was white.

The Bolton-born Muslim claimed: “It’s probably jealousy and sometimes skin colour does make a difference. I know if I were a white English fighter, I would be a superstar in Britain and the world.”

However, Warren maintained the focus on Khan should be about his ability in boxing and not about his ethnicity: “He’s had a lot of pressure over the last week.

“He’s represented Britain as good as any British sportsman. He won a silver medal and was proud to do it. He had a Union Jack waistcoat on in the Olympic games and he’s gone on since and done great for us as far as boxing’s concerned.

“I just wish the people would stop trying to put pressure on him. He’s a boxer and let’s talk about what he does – boxing. Not about colour or ethnicity.”

Article 1

So in this article from the BBC on racism it shows that certain countries like Spain have a huge problem dealing with racial abuse towards the participants which are usually from the black ethnicity, or one of the main races to have evidenced and witnessed it.

It has been noticed in several sports in Spain and Western Europe that there is racial abuse towards sports players, which are mainly from the black background but the authority have not done anything about it which is shocking.

Some people in Spain believe that it is acceptable to use foul words towards opponents so the team or the person there supporting can gain advantage/ upper hand over their opponent, which will in turn help them win their match or competition.

This is not the way sport should be portrayed because it seems like sport in Spain has an issue with racism because it is not only in football it is formula one also and there allot of talented young sports people out there in Spain so this is an issue.

Even high ranking people in the Spanish sports have used foul language for example the ex Spanish manager of football Luis Aragones said something racial and offensive towards one of the most well known players in world football during his time Thierry Henry and did not think anything of it because racism is not taken very serious in Spain, but when other governing bodies and people got involved it became a worldwide issue.

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Jaime Martin says that ”It’s been exaggerated in the news reports a bit. It was only four or five people who were doing this in the context of the competition between Alonso and Lewis,” so this shows that people in Spain think differently about racism compared to some people from different countries. Because he believes that the situation has been “exaggerated” so does not think it is an issue

So how many other sports in Spain have the problem with racism which has not been stated as it seems to be an issue which is not looked at in depth?

Article 2

From this article from STV SPORT we can see that racism is not only in football and in Spain, it is also in boxing which is filled with a range of different ethnicities, races, nationality and different important people.

Even a boxer who is doing well in his sport is still being scrutinised by the media and his nation, with racial abuse and putting pressure on him due to the fact of him not being the supposedly the right “ethnicity” to represent his country an nation, which is not right in a country such as England due to the fact that it is a multi cultural country with a variety of people.

Similarities from both these articles that have been gathered is that it is predominantly the Caucasian race which has been giving out racial remarks towards the athletes as in both of the places where there have been evidence that says there is racism in the sport it is in a mainly Caucasian populated country so they are most likely to be giving racist remarks out.

Also it is big, well known countries which have an issue dealing with racism towards sport performers and athletes, because Spain, England/Brittan are 2 of the most powerful and known countries when it comes to most sports so it is not a good image for these countries is they are being depicted as having a issue with racism when it comes to sport.

Differences between both of these articles is that they are in different countries and also are completely different sports to each other because one is a team game and one is a one person sport, so it does not matter how many people there are or who you are you can still get racial words used towards you.

Also being different countries and sports there is also how broad or popular a sport is. And you could say football is a bigger sport due to the commercialisation of the sport, money, sponsorship, governing bodies and other factors unlike boxing, which does not have as many gains and popularity which football receives so even in less or not as participated sports there is racism around.

To conclude this essay, you can see that there is an issue in the realm of sport which is racism which needs to be sorted out as we have so many people participating in it at so many different levels and for different reasons.

We can see that in football we have an issue with racism and needs to be sorted out since there is a vast majority of people in the world which love and support football, who are different nationalities and who love the same game as those who think it is right to use racial gestures/words toward the performers.

Because in the world cup it proved how powerful football is when you get a vast majority of countries participates from all over the world with different skill levels and races taking part.

Boxing also has a slight issue due to the fact boxing is seen to be in some people’s eyes as a certain race/religion or nationality can represent their country when competing on the world stage or a stage where it is viewed by a vast majority of people from all over, this is wrong because there are people of every race in certain countries and should be excepted for who they are not the colour of their skin.

So as sports people we need to try and clean up our sports and every sport so that everyone can enjoy or participate in the sport which they feel free to do.


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