Recently there has been a disturbing rise in the incidents of racism at football matches. The Mainstream Media are awash with accusations of racism, from Patrice Evra being racially abused on the pitch by Luis Suarez to fans snarling abuse at Raheem Sterling. It is on the increase.
Is it just some players and some fans that are racist, or is there a more subtle and virulent form of racism going on, one that is no different from slavery?
Why the increase in racism, what is going on in today’s society if we believe it is acceptable to insult someone because of something none of us chooses to be?
My first reaction to this rise in racism was to bewail the plight of the football fan: Once again being targeted by politicians, the media and social justice warriors just to push a political agenda, to criminalise the football family. We are the scapegoats for the evils of society. I then took a moment to reflect on the media, how they lie and bend the truth to suit their agenda and suddenly one of my childhood heroes sprang to mind, probably the first black sports star to be used racially by the media and exploited and lied about today. Not just demeaning him, but tarnishing an incredible man.
1936 AND ALL THAT.
I remember reading a book by Jesse Owens called “Blackthink”.
I read this when I was around 13/14 it was around the same time I remember hearing the song by the Specials called “Why?” In the song Neville Staples sings the immortal line, “I’m proud of my black skin, and you are proud of your white”.
From an early age, I learnt to fear nothing from being proud of my skin colour. I understood pride, I also understood it did not have to divide us.
Jesse Owens own account of the 1936 Olympics totally contradicted the media narrative. It just did not fit together. I challenged my history teacher on this. He was livid that I dare challenge the perceived view, that I should speak out, but then again he could not speak against Jesse Owens own words, the man who called media accounts lies. One of the fascinating things I find about Jesse Owens was his attitude to life. A no-nonsense factual approach that not only came up against real racism but also real prejudice and yet carried on regardless. A man with real class and strength.
Now this will cause controversy, yet I am using Jesse’s own words.
The media and historians make a massive play on Hitler’s treatment of Jesse Owens. He destroyed Hitler’s Aryan dream. Hitler was racist and snubbed Jesse Owens. The German athletes hated Owens because he was black! You hear this all the time, pumped out by a media that distorts the truth and spreads lies.
Whilst it has to be acknowledged that Hitler was a bastard of evil proportions and a killer of millions and was racist we still have to use this as an example of the media using race to further its own agenda.
The story goes that Hitler snubbed Jesse Owens, but Owens said, “Mr Hitler had to leave the stadium early, but after winning I hurried up to the radio booth. When I passed near the Chancellor he arose, waved his hand at me and I waved back at him.”
He also said, ”Hitler didn’t snub me; it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send me a telegram.” The American president at the time was Franklin D Roosevelt. However, Hitler supplied Jesse Owens with a letter and commemorative photo of his wins.
When talking about the German Athletes Jesse was fond of them, indeed with his competitor Lutz Long, he said, “You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn’t be a plating on the 24-karat friendship I felt for Lutz Long at that moment. The sad part of the story is I never saw Long again. He was killed in World War II.” In another example, Jesse Owens actually explained that Lutz gave him hints and tips that helped him win the gold medal.
I am aware that many will accuse me of being a Nazi sympathiser or a revisionist. But how can I be a revisionist or apologist if using Owens own words?
Now take a step back and consider How the media use Jesse Owens and his skin colour. Take a step back and consider how they used him as a weapon against Fascism whilst ignoring his other views.
Then think of how he was treated then. After winning 4 gold medals he returned to America and still had to sit on segregated buses. He was still treated as a second class citizen. Wryly Jesse Owens remarked, “People would give me a pat on the back, but they would not give me a job”.
This vile hypocrisy continues to this day. People will use Jesse Owens to promote black Nationalism or to try and prove black people are superior, yet what did Jesse Owens have to say about them?
“Black Nationalists are nothing but coloured conmen” he stated.
You have to admire Jesse Owens, a former slave who went into the lion’s den and walked away with fists full of gold. A man who befriended those he would be forbidden to do today. A man who refused to be beaten by hatred and racism, despite the appalling treatment.
“May this light shine forever
as a symbol to all who run
for the freedom of sport,
for the spirit of humanity,
for the memory of Jesse Owens”
Yet all you will see from the media is a man used to fight against White racism. When Jesse Owens himself fought against all forms of racism.
This is media exploitation of a man because of the colour of his skin. Even after his death.
Nothing more than Slavery.
SOME PEOPLE THINK FOOTBALL IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH. I ASSURE YOU, IT’S MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT.
I wonder if people realise how prophetic that statement was and what football would become.
It is hard to underestimate the importance of football in today’s society. It is the focus of community, a true asset in uniting people, groups, communities, countries, the world.
Footballs multi-trillion pound game, from advertisers to sponsors, from products to subscribers. Football is the biggest sport in the world and this beautiful game, that unites all was invented here, in England.
So it should come as no surprise to you that the battle for control of footballs very soul is going to always be at a very high level. From battles of TV rights, battles over players, battles by fans, club battles for trophies and league titles these battles have more or less always been with us. However, a new battle is emerging. It is a battle that sets out to demonise a set of supporters and aims to drive them away from the game, to make it exclusive for one set of people. The tool being used to do this?
It is that trusted and well-tried weapon: “Racism”.
RACISM IS INCREASING.
Sadly racism last year saw an increase of 38% over the Premier League and EFL. There were 111 reported cases from August. – 64 of these took place in the Premier League. For the EFL (Championship, Leagues 1 and 2) there were 47 reported cases. This averages out at 16 per league. Now, this is interesting. 64 in the Premier League 16 in each of the lower leagues.
14.6 million in total attended Premier league games throughout last season. This compares to 18 million for EFL games.
If we take the Championship as an example we can see that there are 24 teams in the league. Of these 24 teams, each will play 46 games. In one season there will be 1104 league games.
These games over the season were attended by 11.3 million supporters.
So let us look at things in a sober manner.
The EFL championship is attended by 11.3 million people in a season. They watch 1,104 games. Of the 11.3 million people who watch 1104 games, there are only 16 reported cases of racism.
Let’s look at it from another perspective. Labour has 540,000 members (as of April 2018) of these there were 673 reported cases of antisemitism (racism)
The instant facts here is obvious, the Labour Party are far more rabidly racist than football supporters.
Is an increase of Racism in the Labour Party and an increase of racism, predominantly in the premier league just a coincidence, or is there something else going on?
YOU CAN’T HAVE SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE.
In mathematics, two angles that are said to coincide fit together perfectly. The word “coincidence” does not describe luck or mistakes. It describes that which fits together perfectly.
Football until recently has always been about the working class. It brought us together in ways that politics never could, we cheered our teams, we fought against our rivals. We laughed we cried. We yelled in joy, in triumph, we held our head in our hands in despair, in sadness. Alliances formed, quickly forgotten, we are football, without us, there would be no football.
One man and his book changed that. Enter Nick Hornby and his middle-class book, “Fever pitch” it made the love and passion for football understandable to the middle class and drew them in.
Football expert at Leicester University, John Williams goes on to explain, “The other key change was the formation of the Premier League in 1992, marketing the elite cubs as a different, exclusive product. Now publicly claiming to be a middle-class football fan was no longer a social faux pas. New, more affluent older supporters were drawn in.”
Of course, as ticket prices increased those on low income were priced out. Those with more money could go. John Williams says, “Lots of traditional working-class fans have stopped attending. The market is said to decide ticket prices, but it also excludes many poorer fans.”
So much for claims of the Unions and SWP who say they are to be thanked for modern football.
Former Dundee United player Andy Mclaren told BBC Radio Scotland, “Football, in my opinion, has become middle class its an absolute disgrace that kids are being priced out of football in this country. It’s meant to be our national sport. It’s meant to be all-inclusive. At the moment it’s not.”
With the exit of the working-class fan has gone the passion. With the entry of the middle class has come the statistics.
I remember watching games and chatting after, the memories fresh, “Fuck me he belted that, remember he did that at Colchester too?” The conversation would be about past glories, amazing runs and tackles.
Nowadays the conversation is cold and clinical, “he has 5 shots in 8 games. Has run 200 miles throughout the season”. It is cold, it is clinical. No passion.
The exit from the Premier league of the working class has seen the vacuum filled by the middle class. It has also seen the most racist incidents reported amongst the fewest people.
We have also seen the SWP flood onto the terraces and the creation of FLAF. These cannot be seen as accidental.
The recent argument and yellow press level of reporting have come about following an incident with Raheem Sterling at Chelsea. A Chelsea fan is said to have shouted “f*king black c*nt” at Sterling. This is almost unbelievable and in my opinion, the guy should be made to walk around Brixton shouting that without a police escort, let’s see how brave he is then. Two papers the Daily Mail and the Sun obscured everyone’s identity apart from Sterling himself.
They put him on display, “This is what a victim of racism looks like” they seemed to say, whilst protecting the identity of the racists.
Then, of course, we have the almost hell-bent racist attitude of both papers toward Sterling. They have insulted him because he bought his mum a house. They used a picture of Sterling in relation to a footballer who had been dealing drugs.
They then went a step further applying another racial stereotype suggesting that he has a number of illegitimate children roaming the streets. He has been accused of being lazy, being linked to gang gun culture because of a tattoo.
You could not make it up, Sam Cunningham a journalist for the Daily Mail called the DFLA racist. Yeah, go figure.
This has been going on for quite a while, not just with Sterling but with many other black players down the years.
Henry Winter a football Journalist advised any who would listen that what happened to Sterling should be sounding an alarm call to the Media.
The Racism amongst Journalists has been going on for years. Why only now should journalists be aware?
I HAVE A DREAM.
“We must come to see that the end we seek, is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. That will be a day not of the black man, nor of the white man, but the day of man as a man!”
Dr Martin Luther King.
To be black and a football player in England today is to be in a very bad place.
You are occasionally singled out for racist attention from the media. You get the occasional fan snarling racist abuse at you. You are told by groups like hope not hate, SUTR and FLAF that racism is on the increase in the grounds so you should be on guard.
You are patronised by these same groups about racism and how it affects you. Yet these same groups belong to a Political party that suffers from more racist incidents in one year than Millwall have had in 50 years or the premier league in 10 years. How is it they call for the FA to ban the DFLA yet have 673 confirmed racist incidents?
Your skin colour is used against you, without your permission it is used in political campaigns against Working Class people. You are exploited and used. Your slavery has not ended. You are just used in new and subtle ways.
DON’T WORRY DFLA, YOU GOT YOURS COMING.
For the vast majority of football lads and supporters, the only colour that matters is the shirt on the pitch. We have grown up cheering our players on the pitch, be they black, white Asian. We support a diverse league of diverse payers.
We all have friends of different races and colours, in fact, this article will not be printed unless one of my black mates agrees with its content.
I know a few lads in the DFLA are mixed-race race families, from culturally mixed families. To say we are racist is missing the truth.
Let us look at the reality of the DFLA: we are accused of being white and racist, the reason for hatred and division in society. We are called far right. We are told we are spreading hatred at football grounds, we are called knuckle-dragging fascists. Calls to ban us from football grounds, we are classed as the evil in the game. Like the black players, our skin colour is used against us. Because of our, class, we are vilified, priced out of games. We have groups snarling racist abuse at us (Gammon is still an insult based on skin colour) we face stereotypical insults.
We have so much in common with Raheem and other players of colour.
SOME OF THE CROWD ARE ON THE PITCH……..
It should be obvious now, the problem of racism at football is not being addressed correctly.
The media, hope not hate etc…. Will blame the British working class as being racist, this in itself is racist as the last time I looked the British working class were white, black Asian. They are not just white.
But is it the DFLA and the working class?
An increase in middle-class labour supporters at Premier League games, a decrease in traditional working-class supporters.
Result? An increase in racism.
Less middle-class fans watch Premier league games than working-class fans watch the EFL. Yet the Premier league has more racist incidents than the three EFL leagues combined.
The vast majority of middle-class fans in the Premier League are Labour supporters, this follows on from Labour heavily trying to get involved in football going back to 2014. This the same Labour Party who have 673 reports of racist incidents in the past year.
You do not need to be a rocket scientist to work out where the racism is coming from. (Incidentally, you only need an A level in math to be a rocket scientist)
I find it ironic that SUTR, Kick it out, FLAF, SWP and Momentum have increased their presence at premier league games and there is an increase in racism.
As one concerned black group pointed out to Momentum: “This appears to reflect the existence of a white-dominated, hierarchy of oppression that we believe continues to exist within Momentum.”
THEY THINK IT’S ALL OVER.
Is it not time that the Premier League and Football leagues got serious on the issues of racism at football? The Data and statistics do not lie.
The DFLA is not a contributor to the rise of Racism in football.
An increase in Media sponsored racism.
An increase of Middle-class Labour supporters from a racist party
An increase of racism at premier league games.
A decrease in traditional working-class support in the premier league.
An increase in racism.
IT IS NOW.
“I would like to say thanks to Jermaine S who helped with the article. A true brother”