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.