TALKING SPORT - A stance which showed racism offends us all

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I WAS so pleased to see the entire Latics squad decide not to wear the ‘Kick it Out’ anti-racism T-shirts against Swansea last Saturday.

Pleased, because in the build-up to last weekend’s matches, the discussion was all about Rio Ferdinand and Jason Roberts boycotting the slogan.

‘Other black players’ may make the protest, we were told. But a person doesn’t have to be black to be offended by racism.

And by making a collective boycott, Wigan and Swansea sent out a very loud message – everyone is against racism. Just to be clear, their argument is not with the ‘Kick it Out’ campaign but with the higher authorities which refuse to take the issue seriously.

As the horrible scenes in Serbia when Danny Rose was met with monkey chants, and the subsequent denials of any wrong-doing, so brutally underlined.

In the various debates which followed about players not wearing the Kick it Our shirts, the person who summed it up best was the Stoke manager, Tony Pulis: “Let me say this about this country. People have the right to say yes or no. In a lot of countries you haven’t the right.

“You can do what you want here. You have the chance to stand up and say you don’t want to do it.

“This is a great country. It is multi-cultural. It is the best country in the world. They might have a gripe. Maybe rightly so, especially when you see incidents like the one in Serbia.

“Black, white, Catholic, Protestant, you treat people as human beings. There is good and bad in religion and colour. You have to be straight down the middle and treat everyone the same.”

AFTER an outstanding summer of sport, it’s no surprise that the bookies have no footballers in the running for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Hang on, I thought. Chelsea won the Champions League. The bookies must be wrong. Surely Chelsea will have a contender?

But then I remembered the SPotY must be British. Given Ryan Bertrand and Gary Cahill aren’t household names and Ashley Cole and ‘pitch invader’ John Terry aren’t going to win any popularity contests, it’s left to Frank Lampard to carry the torch!

IT’S hard to get excited about this autumn rugby league series.

Let’s remember, the Exiles concept was only created because the French and the Welsh weren’t deemed to have strong enough squads to provide decent competition.

Whether this series boosts England’s World Cup chances, only time will tell. But for Wigan fans, it at least provides them with a rugby league fix before next season.

DO decisions balance themselves out over a season?.

After Arouna Kone was denied for being offside at Swansea when he wasn’t, two weeks after netting from a position deemed onside when he wasn’t, maybe they do.

Did you know?

Emmerson Boyce’s volley at the weekend was Wigan’s first-ever goal at Swansea’s new Liberty Stadium. The last Latics goalscorer at Swansea was Isidro Diaz – one of the Three Amigos – back in October 1996, down the road at the Vetch Field in a 2-1 home win.