Don’t give sportsmen and sportswomen racial abuse- it will just come back to bite you.

Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, has publicly expressed his disquiet about the racial abuse that the England footballers faced against Hungary last week as this video shows.

Let me give you 5 reasons why you shouldn’t give sportsmen and sportswomen racial abuse.

It’s not a nice thing to do.

That speaks for itself.

You bring your club into disrepute.

Such people are not supporters. The genuine supporter has no problem with non-white players but if have a look at the press reports, it’s inevitable that the name of the club that the football fan follows is mentioned. That brings your club into disrepute.

You run the risk of a criminal charge

Please look at this statement from the UK Prime Minister in the House of Commons. You’ll see that he has publicly stated that legislation is to be brought in to ban people who give such abuse will be criminally charged and banned from football grounds.

You run the risk of being banned from your football ground

Please look at this report showing that Manchester City banned one of their supporters from the Etihad stadium for life for giving racist abuse to footballers of other teams.

Most importantly you run the risk of a player raising their game.

Stan Collymore

Consider this. In the summer of 1995, Liverpool signed Stan Collymore, a black player, from Nottingham Forest for £8 million.

His first game was against Sheffield Wednesday. During the game, the Sheffield Wednesday supporters kept chanting “What a waste of money” and all sorts of horrible things. I even remember them throwing bananas at him.

Look how he reacted. Halfway through the 2nd half, he scored a screamer from 30 yards. The Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper had no chance. However, from that moment onwards all you could hear from the Sheffield Wednesday supporters was a deadly silence.

John Barnes

I remember in 1987 Ian Rush left Liverpool to go to Juventus. That summer John Barnes was signed from Watford. I remember one of his first games against Queens Park Rangers. I was standing on the Kop. There were some supporters who didn’t want a black player playing for Liverpool.

However, if you look at this video you’ll see he put in a magnificent performance. The same supporters were chanting his name “Johnny Barnes.” He became a legend. Weeks later the same supporters were wearing John Barnes t-shirts. Barnes was a legend.

The Merseyside Derby of 1989

This is a game I will never forget.

It was Everton vs. Liverpool Merseyside derby. In those days they didn’t segregate supporters. I was in the Park End surrounded by Everton supporters.

Everton scored first and this guy in front of me was giving Barnes a whole load of racial abuse.Barnes scored the equaliser. Even some Everton supporters were getting annoyed with him.

I then said to my friends “Shall I shut him up?”

I tapped him on the shoulder and said “You are giving Barnes stick about his colour aren’t you?”

“Yes I am you paki.” Was his reply.

I then said, “So why is it people like you go on holiday to countries like Spain to get a tan like mine which will cost you a fortune, only last two weeks and give you skin cancer when mine is free, permanent and protects me from skin cancer.”

Everyone burst out laughing.

Now I don’t know if Barnes heard him but in the 2nd half, he played the game of his life. He tore the Everton defence apart. Now it hurts me to say this but at the time Everton’s captain and central defender, Keven Ratcliffe, was, without doubt, one of the greatest central defenders of all time. He is of equal standing to Bobby Moore, Alan Hansen and Gary Gillespie.

Ratcliffe didn’t know what to do with Barnes and if it wasn’t for the heroics of Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall Liverpool could have won 10–1.

Conclusion

So in conclusion don’t give sportsmen and sportswomen racial abuse. It will only do you and your club harm.

Bibliography

1. England players suffer racist abuse in Hungary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYE_jOU4Jjo

2. PMQ’s: Racist trolls will be banned from football matches, says Boris Johnson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApEEK09fnsI&t=33s

3. Manchester City ban supporter for life after he made a racist gesture towards players https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoachCguq8A

4. Fantastic Liverpool debut goal by Stan Collymore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCM5QXJ86Ns

5. Barnes’ wonder goal against QPR

6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEXn7bBt7zI

7. Everton 1–3 Liverpool 1989–90 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCyh7QFvz3k

In all cases the date checked was 6th September 2021.

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