Opinion - America leads the way in fighting racism

Andy Edgeworth

Andy Edgeworth

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AMERICAN sports frustrate me. Games often seem too drawn out and their infatuation with meaningless statistics (anybody who has watched a Major League Soccer game will know what I mean) seems to suffocate anything actually related to the game itself.

However, there are some areas we here in the UK and particularly those in Europe could do with Americanising (I hate that word but it’s appropriate here).

Last week the owner of the NBA franchise, the LA Clippers, was heard to make some racist remarks.

Donald Sterling was recorded asking a woman not to associate in public with black people or bring them to games.

His remarks have earned him a lifetime ban from the NBA, whose commissioner Adam Silver urged the Board of Governors - the other team owners - to force Mr Sterling into selling.

And any right minded person could not disagree with the stance taken by the NBA on the issue.

However, in the very same week we hear this news, in Spain a Barcelona player has bananas thrown at him from the stands.

The response by Dani Alves was to eat one and it turned into a global social media campaign to fight racism backed by footballers across the world.

However – while in America a man heard to have made a racist comment loses everything, in Spain nothing is done.

The Spanish football league does not even have an anti-racism campaign.

In the past both in Spain, Italy and many other European nations racism is met with petty fines and a few games being played without fans in attendance.

Whilst here in England we are on top of the issue we are still not completely free from such prejudice.

Even this season in England, we have had a small minority of fans sing racist songs.

However, while I find American sports are over-hyped with too much emphasis on entertainment, unnecessary hype and what they would deem razzmatazz (*shudders) they are clearly ahead of us on the issue of racism.

Until football bodies take such a similar stance I fear we will never completely stamp out such prejudice in our beloved sport.