22 June 2008

Racism and Sports

Racism in sport is not something new. However, when the ugly spectre of racism raises its head at increasingly lower levels of sports then there is a more apparent and urgent need to address the problem.

In a rugby league match between the Mascot and the South Eastern Rugby Leagues clubs in Maroubra on Sunday there is an alleged report of an under 12 player being racially abused by a person.

I hope that what I am about to write offends your sensibilities and if you never come back and read me again so be it. I want to offend your sensibilities because if you are a reader based in Australia then this is something that must be stamped out at all levels of the game! If you are a reader somewhere else then I hope that you join in the campaign to stamp out racism.

The more offended you are the more likely you are to do something about it. Write a letter to the paper, post something on your own blog (if you have one), or talk to your friends about it, but do something. It is alleged that the person making the remark was an adult.

It remains unclear whether this clown was a parent or a team official. Either way he is still a clown! I am competitive and I want to win. I am sure that is something that will transfer in the genes to "the kid". Yet, being competitive does not involve any need for me to racially abuse the opposition.

It is alleged that this person was calling the under 12 player a "black cunt". One assumes that the player was one of my indigenous brothers. I am not apologizing for the word and I am not going to disguise it with an asterisk or some other symbol. I want you to be offended. The more offended you are the more likely you are to take a stand against this. Calling a 12-year old a "black cunt" cannot be justified on any grounds, no matter how bad the kid is. But in this context of a sports match there is no justification I can see. Feel free to enlighten me if you can!

The punishment for the crime is to black-list the perpetrator (is black bad or something?) and to de-register the child. I have no problem with banning the perpetrator for a period of time in order that the person reflect a little on their racism and do something about it. However, banning the child seems to me to be punishing the child for the sins of the parent (father). To me this is inherently wrong! The picture is from the "Show Racism the Red Card" campaign.

The father of the victim on hearing the racial slur was then alleged to have king-hit the maker of the remarks and a fight then broke out between a number of spectators. An ugly incident all round.

It is my sincere hope that something is done about this sooner rather than later.


GJ said...


I have long thought it was a good idea to ban parents from their kids sports events. Then the kids can get on with playing the game and having FUN not being pressurised by some wannabe mum or dad.
They can buy the video tape of the game after.

Rob Baiton said...


Sounds like a plan!

oigal said...

Mmm I fully concur, although I msut admit I had thought Australia had pretty well gotten past that stage as the "norm" and I did play and coach a bit.

ALthough I remain disappointed that the AFL umpires changed their uniforms and no longer white...I kinda miss being able to refer to someone as "YOU BLOODY BIND WHITE MAGGOT"

Rob Baiton said...


The best response I have on the AFL is the following: