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Upcoming BBC Documentary Will Ask 'Is Football Racist?'

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 20, 2012 11:04 AM
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Clarke Carlisle

BBC3 is prepping an hour-long documentary that will tackle racism in football (or what we call soccer here in the west) with plans to broadcast the film on the same day that the verdict in the racism trial of English professional footballer, and former captain of the England national football team, John Terry, is expected to be delivered.

In short, last November, Terry was investigated for an alleged verbal racist attack against Anton Ferdinand, during a match, reportedly calling him "a fucking black cunt.Terry was charged a month later with using racist language, and in February of this year, he was stripped of his position as captaincy for the second time. He was due to stand trial in July, and he reportedly has entered a "not guilty" plea.

The verdict of Terry’s trial is expected to be included in the film.

To be titled Is Football Racist?, the doc will feature former Premier League defender Clarke Carlisle (above photo) exploring racism in football, taking a look at...:

... tribalism of club fans, the lack of ethnic minorities on the terraces, the lack of South Asians on the pitch and the lack of black managers in the professional game. Other contributors will include Jewish comedian David Baddiel, former football hooligan Cass Pennant and the “Punjabi Wolves”, the UK’s largest group of ethnic minority football supporters who will give their view from the terraces.

Long-time readers of S&A will remember that a feature film based on the life of Cass Pennant was released some 3 years ago (we profiled it), starring none other than Nonso Anozie in the title role.

But discussion of racism in football/soccer in the European leagues especially, certainly isn't new. A Google search will reveal several incidents and fines as a result.

However, it's not something we've touched on much here, so I'd see this.

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  • TSW | July 9, 2012 4:03 PMReply


  • Ava | June 20, 2012 5:59 PMReply

    Is this the same BBC documentary that has been posted on You Tube? I believe I have seen this unless there has been some type of sequel. I enjoy watching the World Cup because it is more inclusive and when you get a chance to see the Brazilians and the Cameroonians play, you truly get to see "The Beautiful Game". No offense to Europeans because France, England, Italy and Germany have some more than good teams but often what you get from the strictly Euro leagues is 'hooliganism'. And I agree, it's not the sport but some of the people who are rabid racists. I must admit, whenever a European country gets a good thrashing from a much browner team, I get a special thrill from this.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | June 20, 2012 5:05 PMReply

    I'm not a huge association football fan, but I've heard more than once about rampant racism among fans of certain teams in certain countries. I guess that is what it is. It just suprises me that racism would still figure so strongly in a decidedly "global" sport.

  • the black police | June 20, 2012 12:54 PMReply

    Is FOOTBALL/SOCCER racist? No, some (mostly, if not all) WHITE fans are racist. What's the mystery? Hasnt they always been?

  • statum106 | June 20, 2012 12:47 PMReply

    I'll check this out. I'd like to hear what players, coaches and fans think as we've already heard FIFA's stance on racial matters.

    My question is, are we talking "racism" as in denying people of color the opportunity to manage, run and own teams or are we talking "bigotry" in the form of chants from the stands and on-field comments from opposing players and coaches?

  • Ava | June 20, 2012 6:12 PM

    I think many of it also involves ultra-nationalist sentiment. It is as likely to see fans making so called monkey sounds when Black players are on the pitch as it is to see neo Nazi banners, salutes and to see fights between Serbs and Croats as a holder-over from the war in the Balkans during the 90s. But I believe that most of these recent FIFA initiatives are probably meant to address anti Black (including Asian, who are sometimes referred to as Black in countries like England) and some forms of Antisemitism. Although I do remember some talk years ago concerning the dearth of Blacks and People of Color involved in coaching and upper management of leagues and clubs.

  • dl | June 20, 2012 2:22 PM

    probably on bigotry which everone is already aware of pick on working class whites as per usual however, they wont really touch on or will def gloss over the systemic racism in lack of black football managers, coaches, personal trainers, referrees, admin workers and higher management amongst fifa and the premiership -waaaay too controversail for the bbc.

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