The number of reported incidents of racist abuse, sexism, antisemitism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination by fans have increased significantly this season, according to anti-discrimination campaign, Kick It Out, and the English Football Association (FA).
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According to the two organizations who work hand in hand to rid the game of discriminatory behavior, 184 incidents of improper abuse were reported at the midway point of English leagues’ 2014-15 campaign, a 35 percent increase from the same time the season before.
An FA official told the Guardian that 118 of the 184 reports (64 percent) involved alleged racist abuse, while 32 percent involved complaints about antisemitism, with the majority originating on social media.
The rest, from the Guardian:
15 complaints of abuse involving sexual orientation, seven about disability, and 13 relating to sexism, the first it has ever received
There’s really no way of knowing how many incidents of racial abuse occur inside stadiums at all levels week in and week out, but the fact that so many more are being reported each week can be seen as fair progress in the fight to rid the game racism.
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The authorities can’t police the issue if they aren’t aware of it. The onus then falls on the authorities to handle the matter in a way that dissuades people from acting in that way in the future, which sadly isn’t always the case..
Though all will not be as well-documented as the recent incident involving Chelsea fans on the Paris Metro, the same kind of swift, firm response is needed in each and every case of discriminatory abuse. Be it one man or a hundred, immediate suspensions — with possible lifetime bans being considered — should be the standard course of action for anyone partaking in discriminatory activity of all kinds.