Friday, 9 December 2011

STATUE OF LIBERTY


EUFA play lip service to the idea of respect, particularly when it comes to racism. While meagre fines are handed out to associations and clubs who abuse black players -Bulgaria were recently fined a paltry €40000 for this-and the head of the organisation makes stupid remarks about racism, can we really expect change?
The Suarez business seems to be more about him 'allegedly' gesticulating to the crowd rather than the racism that (again allegedly) Evra was subjected to; a date has yet to be set for an hearing into this despite the game in question taking place in October.

Racism is still alive and kicking in football; let's not pretend it isn't, but at Arsenal I believe we can all feel proud that we has such a diverse fan base and that we have a multi cultural team. Arsenal can be accused of many things, but racism is not one of those in my experience. Visiting teams and fans don't get abused due to the colour of their skin and this is something that should be the norm everywhere, but isn't.

Bremner, Shankly, Dean, Haynes, Robson, Armfield and Busby are some of the figures associated with English clubs that are immortalised outside grounds and now the history of our great club is to be acknowledged by the unveiling of three statues at the Emirates, three figures from Arsenal's glorious past; Tony Adams, Herbert Chapman and Thierry Henry. This last name is significant because Henry, as we all know is black, and I can't think of other clubs in this country that have a statue of a black player at the ground.

This may not seem a big thing, but it is. There was a time when I was younger, when a person of colour would not have thought that such a thing were possible; such was the perception and general feeling in this country. Certainly a statue is a validation and acknowledgement of achievement and indeed respect for an individual. 

The other thing is that, for younger fans the fact that a statue of Thierry Henry is going up is not significant in terms of ethnicity; they will only view it in terms of a phenomenal Arsenal player, and maybe that says something about where we are as a club.

Arsenal Fans Say No To Racism

1 comment:

  1. Good Stuff arsenalism, admirable, and commendable. And yes Arsenal were / are to the forefront of that battle. The other great racial battle we had to overcome was Apartheid, but our sport was not at the forefront because Rugby and Cricket - supported mainly by the establishment - were the sports associated with South African apartheid, and American Football and Baseball in the Southern USA states, and football was a marginal sport there, and so football was unable to make much of an impact there. Today the big curse of Apartheid is in Asia with Israel who are also pursuing a policy of Ethnic Cleansing, where people are thrown out of their homes to make way for people of a different ethnic origin. See the letter to Michel Platini from 42 Palestine Football Clubs attached. We believe it was wrong to reward Apartheid Israel (an Asian team) with the UEFA U 21 Finals of a European Competition scheduled for 2013 ahead of European applicants like England and Wales, both of whom have an excellent record of fighting racism in all its forms. That is why we in Red Card Israeli Apartheid are calling on all football fans of conscience to join our anti racist group and campaign to have the 2013 Finals held in Wales or England, or shared amongst Ireland & Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, and removed from Israel until it ends its Apartheid policy. Red Card Israeli Apartheid are also dedicated to fighting anti semitism and Islamophobia or any form of racism and call on all football fans to also take a firm stand on the side of right when FIFA, UEFA, or the FA fail to act promptly and decisively to stamp our racism in all its manifestations from our great sport.

    John T


    People like Evra dont' know they're born. As a kid I saw boys who ought to have turned pro not even get a sniff at it due to the colour of their skin. That's racism. Getting paid a hundred grand a week and having someone call you names sounds like whinging to me.

    Mick M

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so I said...

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