This week the Race for Football National Roadshow came to Birmingham and was hosted by Phoenix United at St Andrews Birmingham City.
For many years Football has been as way off life and is shrouded in history, all over the UK and indeed in local communities.
Since the inception of the Premier League with the mass sponsored investment Football has become a Multi Million pound empire in this country.
However, on the other side, it has also become an apparent breeding ground for racism.
There have been many high profile incidences of racial discrimination in football over the past year and this has highlighted the need for commitment and proper regulation not only by Clubs, The Premier League, The FA but also Government.
It begs the question is Football above the law of the land? It is not, racism is a ‘hate crime’ and it should be dealt with accordingly. There is a clear dividing line between Football disciplinary matters and breaking the law, it’s that simple.
Racism is not just an issue for Football, but society as a whole, however, the continual dismissing of incidences of Race Discrimination with explanations such a mere banter only fuels the fact that people believe they can get away with this type of bigoted behaviour.
One must recall that Football is responsible for developing Role Models in society and these can either be negative or positive.
The recent Notts County incident which has been publicised nationally, clearly demonstrates the disrespect that especially Young Black Footballers face, yet alone their older counterparts.
There are various initiatives developing awareness, about racism in Football but there are no campaigns with real teeth to develop and enforce regulations that will stomp it out as yet.
Although there are now developing punishments to tackle racism; the on and off the field incidences need stern action as this does impact upon society as a whole.
Footballers are employees and should they commit acts of discrimination or indeed the any Football Staff; then just like many working for Companies they should be sacked and their professional registrations be suspended or even permanently revoked.
Clubs to face several games behind closed doors and or points deductions.
One must also appreciate the impact upon local communities of this type of behaviour, as many football grounds do have a high level of BME residents living locally.
The situation is simple we need to campaign to stop the window dressing and develop clear, enforceable codes of conduct.
It also needs to be clearly defined what issues are for Football to deal with and what issues are to be dealt with by the law of the land.
It is alarming that after the tiresome work in developing skills, human beings are being ridiculed on a Football pitch for the colour of their skin.
It’s clearly time for change and we must unite and work together to achieve this.
Write to your MP, The Minister of Sport or even The Prime Minister and demand action to deal with this alarming issue.
We are all equal, its time to embrace our diversity and not ridicule it.