From Zenit to London football has one thing in common: racists

You know how I know that someone’s about to say something racist? They always say, “you know I’m not racist BUT…” and then they say something completely racist. Either that or the racist person will lower their voice, cover their mouth, and say something like “those people” with a wink wink and a nudge nudge to let me know that I am in their club of racists.

Another thing that I have noticed about racists is that they are very concerned with other people’s racism and especially any perceived racism against them. It’s always the most racist people who are ever vigilant about non-existent things like “reverse discrimination”. And no matter how many times you try to explain the concept of a double-negative to these people, they just don’t get it. “Think about it for a second,” I’ll say to the racist “reverse discrimination would be actually privilege, wouldn’t it? Or at the very least reverse discrimination would be anti-discrimination, right?” That’s when they look at me blankly and then I try for the really simple, “besides, if you are being discriminated against, it’s just discrimination, there’s no need to have a special ‘reverse’ category just because you are in the group that was historically the oppressor and now you suddenly feel like you’re the oppressed because other people have to be treated fairly and not racially abused.”

That’s how I used to be anyway. Now days if someone tries to rope me into their merry band of racists or engage me in a discussion on why they feel reverse discriminated against I adopt a zero tolerance policy and just walk away from them. I just don’t have time to suffer these fools and neither should anyone else.

So, why on earth are we still suffering racism from the terraces of clubs like Millwall and Zenit St. Racistburg?

Pretending that there is no racism in England is part of the problem. It’s a major reason why the FA doesn’t deal with clubs like Millwall whose fans have been accused of racist chants no less than three times, since October. Once against Bolton, once against Charlton, and now against Leeds. Three times in five months? Isn’t England the most watched country on the planet? Don’t you have cameras on every street corner? Don’t you abhor racism so much that it’s a crime to use a racial epithet? Why did it take a SkySports “special investigation” to get these racists banned from the terraces? If the club and the FA truly cared about banning racism, they would have dealt with this problem years ago. But they didn’t and that’s how racism in football is still alive and well, because the clubs and the governing bodies don’t really care.

And Zenit. I’m not really even sure how a football team, where the manager can say that he openly discriminates against black players, can have a license to play in Europe. I’m sorry but any team which openly discriminates and which has a fan base that has been fined so many times for racist abuse that I’ve actually lost count should play in their own racist league of racist teams but be denied entry into Europe.


And that’s why I’m actually happy that Liverpool complained about Zenit prior to the match. Of course, some folks are pointing out the irony that Liverpool are suddenly so concerned about racism. But I suspect their newfound concern is actually a byproduct of the shame that they were subjected to after the Luis Suarez debacle. Which is exactly how you deal with these cunts, you name them and shame them.

It’s easy to make fun of Liverpool for that sordid affair with Luis Suarez but you also have to understand that they have several black players who are going to be in very close proximity to the most racist fans in all of Europe. Any team, every team I would hope, would seek protection before the match.

The ball’s in UEFA’s half now. Let’s see how they handle it. My hope would be through tough measures. But history tells us it will be by punting.

And the FA. Sorry guys but racism is no longer just an overseas problem (hint: it never was). There’s a Den of racists there, in London, a few miles from the HQ at Wembley. Maybe take a look?


12 thoughts on “From Zenit to London football has one thing in common: racists

  1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Swegooner

    Great post, and a very important subject. As you say, it’s not just an eastern or south european problem but it’s all a cross Europe. One solution could be to stop the game and finish the game with empty stands. Innocent people would be afflicted but with time the non racist fan base would be fed up and truly “kick” racism out.

  2. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1james bond's shaken martini

    I actually agree with the racist Zenit fans up to a point. I think the primary objective in their manifesto was to have players sourced from the St Petersburg area, to reflect the local community. It’s something every football fan secretly desires (why else the support for the local boy made good) but of course, impractical in the era of globalised football.
    The second was to have a squad made up of Russians, and the third was to have a No-N$%%$%@ policy.

    Footbal fandom grew out of urban tribalism. A great deal of the popularity, the fanaticism of football is due to that core base of fans who live in the area, who have had their allegiance passed on down the generations, whose mates are all hard-core fans, etc,. And these fans see their football club as a representation of themselves, and want the club to reflect themselves.

    I think as football becomes increasingly more globalised, it’s important that the locality of football is preserved. Clubs must somehow still reflect the place it is based, other they just become a set of franchises with names that used to mean something.

    So yes, while there’s a world of difference between wanting YOUR team that reflects the place you come from, and wanting your team to employ a racist policy, it’s on the same continuum. Would you consider Atletico Bilbao’s Basque-only policy to be evil, or a way for the Basque people to celebrate their culture within a wider Spanish context?

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

      I don’t know if it’s evil, but it’s certainly narrow minded. If barring foreigners to join your team is a celebration of one’s culture, then it says a lot about your culture.

      In truth, I think Bilbao’s policy of recruiting locally has more to do with economics than anything else.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Eurazian

        True. Surely one can celebrate one’s own culture without having to hate everything outside it.

        Sure the racism in Zenit is not unrelated to the ultra-nationalism present elsewhere in Russian life, such as the rise of skinhead gangs.

  3. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Davsta

    Only my humble opinion, but Liverpool’s darkest hour regarding racism was the throwing of bananas at John Barnes whilst he was playing for them. It was all considered to be part of the special scouse sense of humour in those days.

  4. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1marek

    Everybody’s racist to some degree. Only Western whites feel somehow obligated to not only pretend that they are not racist, but to also “fight” racism wherever and whenever it appears. Most non-whites, and many whites also, are unabashedly racist, but since they live in fairly homogeneous societies, you don’t see it, because there’s no need or occasion to show it. But it’s there.

    There are at least two ways to try to deal with the fact that racism exists, and always will. One is to forcibly try to “improve” people, for example by “kicking out” racism and encouraging people to snitch, as Liverpool appear to do. That way totalitarianism lies, and failure. The other is to go the Rat Pack way, and simply not patronize the businesses of people with whom you disagree, don’t shake their hands etc. Or set up your own football league. Without making a big fuss about it, because at the end of the day, for all their talk, most Western whites still want to live in a “good” neighborhood and send their kids to “good” schools, and in the US the word “good” has that special meaning when applied to neighborhoods and schools, and no one’s perfect anyway.

  5. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1alabamagooner

    My late father-in-law was the most overtly racist person I have ever known. The first time I heard him casually utter a racial slur at the dinner table, I almost reconsidered my relationship with my soon-to-be fiancé. (Turned out he was also horrified and embarrassed, but that’s another story.) My father-in-law was also the most rabid Alabama football fan I have ever known, and was the king of the back-handed racist “compliment” while watching it on TV. “Boy that (insert abhorrent racial slur here) sure can run!” But at his most horrible, he never would have entertained the idea of shouting racial chants at players at the game itself. Why? Certainly not because he had any filters. In fact, if a section of fans around him had been chanting such slurs, I am quite sure he would have joined in. No, he didn’t do it, because it just wasn’t done. So-called “decent” people wouldn’t have put up with such behavior. It didn’t make him (or many of those “decent” people, for that matter) any less racist, unfortunately. But it did mean that the players, and other fans who found such attitudes abhorrent, didn’t have to listen to it.

    The first step in eradicating such behavior is to call people out on it, and stop making excuses for not doing so. I fully acknowledge that it doesn’t change these people’s attitudes, and if anything it drives it underground, where it may actually be more difficult to deal with. Truthfully, the people who are engaging in it are lost causes, anyway. You’ll never change them. All you can hope to do is try to reach their sons and daughters – and one way to do that is to take an official stand, “name and shame”, as you said, and refuse to permit it, or make excuses as to why you can’t do anything about it.

  6. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Caribkid

    Racism will never be totally stamped out until everyone in the world is the same skin color and speaks the same language. But, that does not mean we should not not try to eradicate it and the only way to proceed is through education and punishment.

    Loved that song, Melting Pot, by Blue Mink which was a big hit in the late 70′s. It’s worth a listen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HHT_V294Co

    Being racist is one thing, but to overtly subject others to it through name calling and racial slurs takes it way over the top and therein lies the biggest problem. We sometimes can’t change the thoughts of individuals, especially when they are fixed in their ways, but there is something called decorum and plain ole “good” manners.

    Many Blacks are racist, but I have never heard of Caucasians being subjected to “honky” chants even at games in Africa and the Caribbean.

    Football is the most globalized sport and racism of any sort needs to be confined to the backyards rather than the stadiums.

  7. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1TomNW5

    Sadly, Arsenal has racist followers too. The Yid thing is racist.
    I like to believe that the vast majority of Gooners that participate in those chants are not racist and simply following a tradition that has over time and in context has become a hollow moniker. The fact that Totts fans self identify as Yids complicates things further.
    Happily, the Club and its following have long been multicultural and progressive in attitude and, Yid chants not withstanding, we are not seen as a racist club. In fact in the seventies and early eighties, when racism was still very overt at clubs like Chelsea, West Ham and Everton, 
    National Front paper sellers were chased off whenever they tried to peddle their filth at 

  8. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Cliffy

    Football is a sport and as required from the players it also demands sportsman spirit from the fans…Its Ok to be competitive, aggressive and supportive. But that should not cross the limit of taking the matters beyond sport..

    Racism is not a sport..infact it is the opposite of being a sport…including lack of fairness, lack of compassion, lack of respect…

    All 90 minutes + injury time in a football match we want to have sport…which effectively rules out any opportunity for racism to be there…

    Its Ok to support your race, club but manifesting it as hatred towards the other is not being a good sport…Of course there is more than just a game happening, but that is no justification for saying things\doing things which will hurt the one who hears it…in more than one fundamental level…

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