Racism in Football

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Spartak tweet on black player causes uproar (video)

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Russian Premier League and UEFA Europa League side Spartak Moscow is in hot water this morning after posting a video on its Twitter feed.

The footage shows several of Spartak’s smiling black players stretching with the caption, “See how chocolate melts in the sun” accompanied by sun and chocolate bar emojis.

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Spartak is training in the UAE, where the weather is 55 degrees warmer than Moscow this week, but few on social media are seeing the humor in the post given the myriad issues regarding racism in Russian football and the magnifying glass on the country ahead of this summer’s World Cup.

Anti-racism organization “Kick It Out” issued the following statement:

This social media post from the official account of Spartak Moscow only continues to highlight the prejudices towards black people in Russia. It is a reminder, that along with the whole of football, there is significant work to do to eradicate racism of all forms from the sport.

Before you ask, it shouldn’t matter whether the caption is cleared with the players beforehand; First off, they are employees of the club so the question is instantly tainted. Even if the players found it 100 percent free of offense, that doesn’t make it so for the world’s population. That matters.

Here’s the original post, for as long as it stays on the Internet (Don’t shoot the messenger when Spartak is pressured into taking it down and this is a blank space):

Manchester United to seek out those who continue offensive Lukaku chant

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Some Manchester United supporters persisting in singing a chant glorifying Romelu Lukaku which has been deemed racist by many for its depiction of the player’s penis size.

Lukaku was among those to ask that fans stop singing the song, as did the club, but it was heard from the away end at St. Mary’s during Manchester United’s 1-0 win on Saturday (where Lukaku scored the winner).

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United responded with vigor after the match, releasing a statement claiming it would request closed circuit footage of the fans in attempts to ban those singing the song based on The Stone Roses’ “Made of Stone.”

Muntari to abuse victims: “You’re strong. Say what you want to say”

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Sulley Muntari walked off the field during Pescara’s Serie A match at Cagliari on May 1 after being racially abused by fans.

Muntari had told the officials about the abuse, and the referees did not react to his pleas. Eventually, he was shown a yellow card and he walked off the field. That gave him a second yellow.

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His one-match ban for being sent off was rescinded by the Italian federation, and Muntari spoke to the BBC on Monday.

“The last week, I went through hell, was treated just like a criminal. My message to many abused, racially abused, any form of abuse, is you should not be scared to talk, you should speak up in order to set yourself free. You shouldn’t be scared of anybody because you’re strong so you should come out and say whatever you want to say. It’s you. No one will change. You have to make the change.”

Well and powerfully said.

The 32-year-old Ghanaian midfielder has also played for Portsmouth, Udinese, Inter Milan, Sunderland, AC Milan and Ittihad. He has 84 caps and 20 goals for Ghana.

Pescara’s Muntari walks off in protest at racist abuse

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CAGLIARI, Italy (AP) Pescara’s Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari walked off the pitch in protest during his side’s Serie A match at Cagliari on Sunday after being booked for complaining to the referee about racist abuse from fans.

“They were chanting against me from the start,” Muntari said. “In the first half, I saw that there were some children in the group and so I turned to their parents and gave them my shirt, to set an example.

“The issue continued with another group of fans. I was reasoning with them, but the referee told me I had to let it go. That’s when I got angry. Because instead of stopping the game, he decided to punish me.”

Muntari told referee Daniele Minelli and his assistants several times about the chants from home fans in the final minute of Pescara’s 1-0 defeat. The official then showed the former Ghana international midfielder a yellow card.

The 32-year-old Muntari was so angry with the booking that he walked off the pitch, leaving his side in 10 men for stoppage time.

“The fans were wrong, but the referee had to act differently, not accuse me of causing trouble,” the former Portsmouth midfielder said. “If the officials actually stopped games, I am convinced these things wouldn’t happen anymore.”

AC Milan’s U-10 boys team racially-abused at tournament in Tuscany

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Add this insidious tale to the volumes published on “sports parents” across the world.

AC Milan has confirmed via its official site that a group of black U-10 players are alleged to have been racially-abused during the Universal Cup tournament in Tuscany this weekend.

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The fact that they were compelled to post an official statement on the issue shows the seriousness of the incident in question, which happened after Milan beat PSG 1-0.

From ACMilan.com:

The Milan youth sector team, the Esordienti 2004, take on Benfica today in the semi-final of the Universal Cup. The prestigious youth tournament is taking place in Forte dei Marmi and kick-off is at midday. Milan reached this stage after defeating PSG yesterday.

It has been brought to our attention however that during yesterday’s match between Milan-PSG, that there was alleged incidents of racism from certain “people” in the stands towards Milan’s black players.

We do not wish to magnify the issue, but truly hope that these reports aren’t true or that it was simply a sporadic incident. If they were to be confirmed, then it would be simply unacceptable.

We shouldn’t act shocked that incidents like this continue to occur, or to pretend that Italy is ground zero for this behavior, but it’s still bizarre and upsetting to read.

101greatgoals.com points out that super agent Mino Raiola ripped into the story, confirming it in a sense, while tagging in superstars Blaise Matuidi, Romelu Lukaku, Mario Balotelli and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, three of whom are black.