Anyone who knows me knows I am an avid sports fan; I can turn to basketball, soccer, football, baseball, etc. as forms of entertainment and as outlets. I never become tired of discussing it. However, for all of its positive qualities, sports possess many faults, though not entirely due to the event themselves. Fans and owners can still demonstrate their racist tendencies while partaking in the events, and this must end.
Soccer is one of the biggest, most blatant locations of racism in sports. From media coverage to on-field acts, it has permeated the sport and remained intertwined with it. There are many examples; the vilification of Raheem Sterling in the media, throwing of bananas towards black soccer players such as Dani Alves, monkey chants towards Samuel Eto'o, etc. This prior to the imminent 2018 Russian World Cup, a breeding ground for racism in football (Zenit St. Petersburg's fan base even signed a manifesto demanding the club not sign black players). This.. is alarming and disconcerting. If we go back far enough in this decade, we can find when the French national team even considering turning away players of African descent from the academies. in 2010. However, this is not only present in soccer.
Baseball and other American sports, such as American football, also had a demon of a long, sordid past with racism come back up last year. Adam Jones revealed he was the target of racial abuse at Fenway last year. Curtis Granderson also disclosed that he felt as if the crowd was overwhelmingly hostile as a result of something other than simple rivalry. Even Yuli Gurriel during the World Series partook in some abhorrent acts. There are the effigies of Vontaze Burfict and the noose hung around his neck in Pittsburgh, the slurs directed at Brandon Marshall, Kevin Sumlin, Marshawn Lynch, and other football players/coaches. Though maybe not as common today, it is still present in American sports.
I don't think any logical person disagrees with the statement that racism is bad. In sports, especially association football, racism is still in quite a few places an issue. Simple enough statement; it cannot and should not be tolerated. It is basic human dignity, rights, so on and so forth, to be treated as an equal. Any kind of racism that could exist should not be a part of our events. Extending that even further, any sort of discrimination that could occur shouldn't be tolerated. That is non-negotiable.
At the end of the day, racism is still an issue in sports. How big of an issue one might want to debate on, but denying it would be idiotic. Racism should eventually be stamped out, but since it is still present in some of our largest institutions, there is still work to be done. Until it disappears, fighting it in the stands is paramount.