Racism in sports is no longer a story. It’s no longer a scene out of a spy movie. It’s happening, and it’s a reality that we have to deal with. An overdue and structurally embedded societal issue, racism continues to bite day after day.
Perhaps tracing roots from 1619 during the slavery days, racism continues to paint stain into the progress that the world continues to make. As was the case in the 17th century when slavery led to degrading African population, the same continues to happen today. Albeit taking different forms, there is nothing positive to report home. Unlike in the older days of American slavery where Africans and African American population were subjected to physical torture and degrading acts, the new form of racism is far much worse than ever before.
Majorly targeting an individual’s emotions, the wave of racism is what is prompting extremism in different parts of the world. It explains why the tension among different races of the world continues to surge day after day. Coupled with political extremism from different sections of the globe. The problem is here with us to stay.
Racism in federations
Sports professional bodies have played a major role in the fight against racism. From all corners of the world, these organizations continue to step up spirited campaigns. The pace set up by the bodies has further led to heightened campaigns by various professional clubs and national associations. International federations such as Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have played a tremendous role in the fight against racism. Teams have been banned from participation, athletes have been banned and so does association that continues to propagate negativity towards racial development.
Union of European Football Association (UEFA) have even gone further to develop a protocol that aims and continues to fight the vice. The heightened efforts however need us to still step up. To do much that we are still needed to do.
If all can join hands and say no to scaremongering racists and politicians, we shall at one point slay the dragon in the room.
The reality of the matter is that however many campaigns being done, there is room for improvement. There is a call beyond the sporting community to give their inputs and declare stands in a matter that is threatening to tear apart an already blending society.
The most recent cases of negativity towards the coloured players are evident by the now-common phrase “Black Lives Matter”. Fueled by the acrimonious murder of a black American George Floyd, such events continue to scratch healed wounds. What we should have buried a long time ago.
The event from its occurrence changed the whole participation in the world of sports. The campaign for the “Black Lives Matters” is no longer a black movement. It’s neither an American issue. It is a worldwide campaign that has gained momentum globally.
Its wasn’t however till the Zaha incident that the campaign received one of its major setbacks.
To honour the worldwide campaign, a norm has been formed where players more so in football kneels down before kickoff. That’s was only up to the time that the Aston Villa player decided to change the norm. The player was further categorical that he will continue standing tall. Standing against oppression, standing against events that continue to belittle the black race.
The truth is that it took weird courage for the player to reach that level. It’s not what anyone expected. For him, however, taking the knee was no longer making things matter but instead, aided the degradation of Africans and blacks as a whole. We might differ but at the end of the end, he proved a point which majority of people will never take neither admit. We need more of the Zaha’s of this world.
In one way or the other, different events changes how we do think. They change who we are, what we do and perhaps how we relate with each other in society. That’s the Zaha scenario. That’s the George Floyd version of the changes we continue to experience. Those are the changes we need to inculcate into our daily lives both as human beings and as sportspersons. The world is at the right stage to shun down negativity against the human race. It’s octane time we start thinking of all human beings as equals. People called to bring change and inspire generations to come.
It calls for a collaborative effort from different sections of the globe. The time is ripe for governments to combine efforts and kick out racism in sports. Sportspeople are at the centre stage to do much better. There is a high call to embrace political, social and economical tolerance from various sections of world leaders. The time for the Donald Trump kind of leaders to step up.
Let’s shun racism in sports. Its time to promote healthy engagements through sports. The whole world will be at peace.