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Racial Discrimination Among Football Players Essay

Updated August 9, 2022

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Racial Discrimination Among Football Players Essay essay

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This paper will analyse about racial discrimination occurring at the European countries in football and United States in basketball. This will also provide some incidents as professional players facing various forms of racial discrimination from people of different ethnicity and color. We will also how only dark-skinned people are mostly targeted among these groups. Additionally, it will also show how racism is increasing day by day and sending a huge message to overcome racism. Racial Discrimination is present in every aspect of life, but we are going to explain how racism has a negative effect on players in basketball and soccer, regarding their personal life as well as their gameplay.

This paper will also show how racial discrimination can negatively affect the players ability to play and can change how they think towards other human beings. This can cause division in our society which can have harmful long term effects. People may seem to think that this isn’t a huge issue, but dating back to when sports were first introduced, this has been an ongoing issue. Racism in general led to racial discrimination in sports, causing people to see how human beings treat other human beings. It shouldn’t matter what is the color of your skin, or where you are from to know whether or not you can play a certain sport or sport overall. It should be how well you are practicing and training, to show your true skills in a neutral field of play. Overall people seem to overlook this issue and has led to many court cases, and more importantly segregation.

According to the dictionary, racism refers to the belief that one specific race is dominant over another race, which frequently results in prejudice and discrimination towards individual based on their ethnicity or race. The dominant word is the key in the racism that allows people to become discrimination against each other. Without the dominant word, an individual will never attempt to discriminate another person. An individual wants to gain superiority towards another race based on their race, ethnicity or appearance. Compared to other groups, dark-skinned are the largest groups and mostly targeted with racial discrimination. Racism began many centuries ago and still continues to exist till today. There is no solution for wiping out racism, since it’s an ongoing issues its increasing day by day.

Racism can be witnessed through people’s actions, behaviours and attitudes. Racism can be seen occuring everywhere and could be taken place in a workplace, media, neighbourhood, sports, and etc. Currently, racism in sports particularly is a big issue because we often witness fellow players as being racist against each other due to their skin color or their race, and sports fan becoming racist against black people within the stadium. Racism in sports can be seen occurring mainly in United States and Europe. Within the sports like basketball, soccer, etc the racism can be witnessed majority of the time. As past, racial discrimination started when black athletes were not allowed to play for big leagues instead they had to play for small leagues. If there was any kind of objection shown by black athletes then there were banned from playing any leagues.

This racial discrimination can clearly seen in Jesse Owens case as he was an African-American player who excelled in track and accomplished four gold medals but somehow Franklin D. Roosevelt as president of the United States at that time failed to recognize his accomplishments. Additionally, negro league baseball was introduced in the 1800’s due to the fact that white teams did not allowed black players to play (Chandler, 2018). At some point, there were facing some kind of barriers due to their skin color. This leads us to believe that racial discrimination can have a negative impact on individual players, which eventually demoralizes their gameplay and their personal lives.

Racial discrimination is a divisive topic and people can be on the opposite side of the spectrum on this issue. Many people may be for it and some may be against it, whether they believe it still exists or if it has a negative or positive impact on athletes. According to our textbook it states that “this has led many observers to conclude incorrectly that sports participation is free of racial discrimination and that discrimination has disappeared and that African Americans are no longer disadvantaged”(Sage, 2018). Some people believe that the issue of racial discrimination is a thing of the past and believe that it isn’t an important issue in this day and age. Supported research has told us otherwise, and has told us that till this day, racism is as big as it’s ever been. What people fail to believe is that this kind of issue will always be ongoing, and there is not really a way to completely get rid of something that has been ongoing for decades now.

People who don’t believe that racism exists and are blind to the fact that african american and people that are dark skinned seem to have a disadvantage almost everywhere in life. This is supported in our textbook which claims that ”African Americans and dark-skinned racial minorities lag well behind whites in virtually every area of social life” (Sage, 2018). These people are clearly wrong since data suggests that more than 90 percent of all head coaching positions in division 1,2, and 3 are held by white individuals. That leaves roughly 8 percent of individuals who are african americans who make up the rest of the coaching staff. In women’s Division 1,2, and 3 it isn’t any different.

Same statistics from our textbook shows that 90 percent of head coaching positions are held by whites, and the remaining 6 percent are held by african american (Sage, 2018). It’s clear that people who think otherwise are uneducated on this topic and tend to believe that they are living in the past. The people who would benefit from these claims would tend to be the majority of people in the sports, which in this case would be of white decent. Head Coaches and players who are white probably benefit from these claims because it doesn’t affect them negatively. If we don’t educate people who are wrong in this situation, we can have outbursts of people who are affected negatively, which can cause riots and violence overall.

When we think of racism, the first thing that comes to mind is race. People who are racist have it in their heads that they are more superior than another simply because of who they are. It’s not in anybody’s control of where they are born and where they live. Eventually this all leads to the fact that racial discrimination can have a profound effect on players personal lives as well as the performance in the actual game.

Donald Sterling Case

One incident that occured in the year 2014 was a famous case regarding the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling. Donald Sterling was a popular figure in Los Angeles even though his success of his team wasn’t that amazing, he was accused by a recording done by TMZ to call out black people in general. According to the website Vox it states that Donald sterling told his then girlfriend to stop posting pictures of herself with Magic Johnson, the famous basketball player of the Los Angeles Lakers. He told her that she can do whatever she wants with them but that she wasn’t allowed to bring african americans to games, as well as telling her to stop posting pictures on social media with them (Yglesias, 2015). When this news came out it became certain that the players who were majority african american did not want to play for him as an owner. Overall the team wanted to boycott and sit out games because of how disgusted they were by his actions. Racial discrimination played a huge role in this case on and off the court. When your players give up on you and you lose all their trust, that’s a sign that changs needed to be made. This eventually forced the sale, and became widely known that racism exists in this day and age. So all those people that believe that racism is a thing of the past and that we have learned from our mistakes were dumbfounded by these racists remarks made by Donald Sterling, owner of the Clippers.

People close to the organization were not surprised as someone like us who were hearing it for the first time. There were many past allegations that led to this incident. In the year 2009, hall of famer player Elgin Baylor sued owner Donald Sterling for wrongful termination because he thought he wasn’t getting paid enough money. Elgin baylor was a former Los Angeles laker and then current general manager of the Clippers. He provided evidence that his salary had been frozen to 350,000 dollars while other employees in the organizations who were white were making more money than him. Since he was the general manager he was supposed to be making more money than the head coach who was Mike dunleavy, a white head coach earned nearly 5 million dollars (Yglesias, 2015).

One aspect which baffles me about this case is that Baylor lost the case, but he had a lot of evidence and the court still favored in Sterlings side. Elgin Baylor also claimed that sterling told him directly he wants a team assembled of ‘poor black boys from the South and a white head coach.'(Yglesias, 2015). This is ridiculous coming from the mouth of an owner in this day and age and makes me think of what people really think about. This is interesting because Donald sterling ended up winning the case that year, but reality hit him when he was forced to sell the team in the future. We are talking about the owner of a professional basketball team, and if your team is made up of majority african americans,and you are heard making these remarks, I don’t think anyone regardless of your skin color would want to play for that person. Sports should be your ability to play, whether you are black, white, african american, mexican, indians, or anywhere from around the world.

Kevin Boateng

Racial discrimination can also be witnessed through European football day by day as many players and fans gets involved in heated conversations. Famous players such as; Mario Balotelli, Kevin Boateng, Patrice Evra, and Dani Alves have been clearly victim towards racial discrimination. There was one incident about Kevin Boateng that drove a lot of people to raise eyebrow on this issue. Kevin Boateng, an ghanaian football player faced racial chanting from the Pro-Patria fans while he was playing the game. This game was a friendly match between Italian league team AC-Milan and fourth-tier Pro-Patria club. Due to the racist chants he received, it made Kevin Boateng simply rip off his shirt, and walk away from the field without playing entire game. Several players from the opponent team tried to console him but he kept walking away from the field. This also led the whole team of AC-Milan to walk away from field to support their own teammate Kevin Boateng. This issue was very big one in media as retired football players Rio Ferdinand spoke about the issue and defended Kevin Boateng by stating that he made the right decision by leaving pitch prior to facing racial discrimination from fans (the Guardian, 2018). In addition to it, Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri was very disappointed followed by this incident.

Mario Balotelli and Dani Alves

Another incident is about Mario Balotelli, an italian player who faced racial discrimination several times in his lifetime. On August 13, 2008 he became citizen of Italy and he further declared that he will play for the Italian National team. The following day the whole team was leaving from Rome for the tournament that was held in Denmark. As they were leaving, the whole team and Mario Balotelli were surrounded by a group of Roma supporters where they targeted Mario Balotelli by throwing bananas at him and racially abused him. Mario Balotelli however, remained calm and did not do anything prior to this act. He simply had let it go and be the bigger person.He could have made a bigger issue and done something he might have regretted later, but kept his cool and moved on. In April 2009, Mario Balotelli faced another racial abuse while he was playing against Juventus and this time it was from opposing team supporters. In following next match, fans continued to become racist against Mario Balotelli. Fans chants by saying “ If you jump up and down, Balotelli will die. (Mark Doyle, 2018).

After all this racist chants against him, he was angry and further declared that he will not tolerate any kind of racial abuse towards him. If he observe any kind of racial abuse, he will simply kill that person and he does not mind going to jail prior to racial abuse (Mark Doyle, 2018). In addition to it, Mario Balotelli also faced racial discrimination while playing for Manchester City in Portugal and Nice in France. Dani Alves, an brazilian football player also faced racial discrimination against him as a fan threw bananas at him while playing a game. Prior to to this act, Dani Alves simply ate banana to response for racial discrimination. Many professional players posted picture of them eating bananas to stand up against racial discrimination.This just goes and shows you how many incidents have happened that involved fans not realized how it’s a privilege for them to be able to watch such a great sport. Instead they are putting down these people when in reality they should be doing as much as they can to make sure we are united as one.

Not only are fans who are causing this issue, but we can also witness one professional player being racist against another professional player. On October 5, 2011, there was one incident that occurred between Luis Suarez, a uruguay player and a france player patrice Evra. During their game play, Luis Suarez used racist language towards Patrice Evra. Once the game ended, Patrice Evra complained to referee about the whole racial behavior from his fellow players. Prior to this act, Luis Suarez was fined $40,000 and banned for eight match (BBC Sport, 2018) After this case it changed the dynamic of their friendship and changed their image completely. From that point forward they did not see eye to eye and became rivals to this day.

All incidents mentioned above proves how racism is still a huge a problem in sports. We can witness through these incidents that how these players are facing racial discrimination and how it affects them in their lives. These players are facing many forms of racial discrimination towards them. This kind of act needs to be stop particularly in sports because sport is a place where everything should be based on fair and respect. Words like racism or racist behaviours should not exist all because it turns entire game into disaster. It also makes a professional player affect in a very negative way where they would not be able play as they desire. Going back to Mario Balotelli case, once a reporter asked him his thought and feelings about racial abuse toward him. He simply stated that he feels very lonely and depressed whenever he sees racial abuse and racist behaviour.

Through this players response, we can see how it is hard for them to face these kind of racist behaviours. We also can witness through their game play where they sometimes play good and sometimes they play bad. They feel like they should not play that game where they does not earn any respect from fans. Prior to racial discrimination, fans need to understand that they are players who are doing their job to entertain people around the whole world. On top of that, they risked their own life so that we as sports follower can enjoy game and be happy watching the beautiful game. Sometime they play bad game that does not mean a person need to become racist against that person. Instead we as a fans should support that player so that he can make big difference in the game. Like everyone else, dark-skinned people are also human beings and they deserved to be treated and respected the same way as everyone else.

In conclusion this leads us to believe racial discrimination can have a negative impact on individual players, which eventually demoralizes their gameplay and their personal lives. Many incidents stated above provides facts that this is a real issue which cannot be avoided and eventually

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