Thursday, January 10, 2013

Short Pitch: Blatter's subconscious bigotry

On Saturday, Kevin-Prince Boateng did a remarkable thing.  We like remarkable things, especially in the face of bigotry.  During the first half of a friendly match against Pro Patria, the Ghanaian forward led his AC Milan teammates in a walk-off after being subjected to racist abuse from a section of the crowd.

The hope is that this could be a major blow in the fight against racism in football and Boateng has received deserved support from all corners.

Except, notably, from FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who suggested that walk-offs were “running away” from racism.  This drew boos from the chorus and for good reason: while the President could have expressed logical reservations at the long-term ramifications of walk-offs, yet again his choice of phrase was not so much unfortunate as downright harmful.  His suggestion that walk-offs were in any way running from racism in part robs any targeted player of some of the power to fight back.

It’s yet another stick with which to beat FIFA’s chief executive.  Not only does he not understand that minorities often face a struggle to get by in football, but with his subconscious bigotry extending from women to the LGBT community and his understanding of the power of racism, it’s becoming even more clear he is a man from a bygone era and completely unsuited to a position of power.


  1. If you start a world-wide campaign (petition) to have this dinosaur removed, I'll be the first to sign it.

  2. I have always thought that racism in any sports should not be tolerated at all, well in any sport or any activity that we humans as one race we are should behave as such