The issue of racism and the FA

In light of the this past weekend and the hullabaloo over the Kick it Out t-shirt snubs, much has been said about the campaign itself and the issue of racism in football is now under the spotlight more than ever. Of course, progress has been made over the decades but as we have seen in the past twelve months there is still a very significant issue with racism in the football.

Jason Roberts, Rio Ferdinand and his brother Anton all chose not to wear Kick it Out t-shirts each citing that they feel the campaign has not been effective as the reason. I am inclined to agree with them and I think they were completely justified in refusing to wear them.

Speaking on Rio Ferdinand’s snub, his manager Sir Alex Fersguson stated that he was ‘dispppointed’. Ferguson’s reasoning was that in order for the campaign to work, there should be a united front which is true. The problem is, though, the campaign clearly hasn’t worked and this is reflected in the FA’s pitiful treatment of the John Terry situation.

With news today of a possible black player’s union, the fall out from the Terry debacle appear to be boiling over. The FA had a real chance to set an example of how to deal with racial abuse in football and they, quite frankly, embarrassed themselves. The Suarez incident further highlights the FA’s poor decision making as they handed the Liverpool striker an 8 game ban for the use of the word ‘negro’ but only decide to give Terry a 3 game ban for far more abusive and foul language.

There has long been need for reform on the issues of fines and penalties. For example, the standard three match ban for a straight red card, regardless of what occurred and the damage done. The longer the FA continue to ignore the glaring need for a re-think on issues such as these and, on a far larger scale, racism they will be continued to be considered a laughing stock by fans and, worryingly now, players too.

The John Terry farce was a missed opportunity by the FA to heavily punish a player who, allegedly, used abusive racial language towards Anton Ferdinand but all they could provide was a slap on the wrist which has caused a serious backlash which they will struggle to contain.