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Sport Baxter: Soccer world's struggle with racism seems never ending

06:50  08 december  2019
06:50  08 december  2019 Source:   latimes.com

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Struggles should never end . the problem you are creating for yourself is this, that you consider struggle and struggling you grow OUT of struggles , because of struggles , due to struggles . so, if struggle end . the fun and joy in life ends . Dr. Viktor E. Frankl survived unimaginable atrocities in nazi

World news. Environment. Soccer . So now seems like a good time to take stock of what is often called “the last acceptable racism ”.

The headline in the tabloid newspaper Corriere dello Sport landed like a thud.

The front page of the Italian sports daily, Corriere dello Sport, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. A leading Italian sports daily is facing criticism for a headline reading “Black Friday” and featuring two black soccer players on the cover. Corriere dello Sport on Thursday ran photos of Roma defender Chris Smalling and Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku ahead Friday's match between the teams in Milan on Friday. (AP Photo/Fabio Polimeni)© AP The front page of the Italian sports daily, Corriere dello Sport, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. A leading Italian sports daily is facing criticism for a headline reading “Black Friday” and featuring two black soccer players on the cover. Corriere dello Sport on Thursday ran photos of Roma defender Chris Smalling and Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku ahead Friday's match between the teams in Milan on Friday. (AP Photo/Fabio Polimeni)

"Black Friday" it read in capital letters, between photos of Roma defender Chris Smalling and Milan forward Romelu Lukaku. It was meant to preview Friday's Serie A match between the two former Manchester United teammates, which ended in a scoreless draw.

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MANAUS, Brazil — Imagine if an N.F.L. coach never knew when to call for the last-second pass, or an N.B.A. star had to guess when to throw up his desperation half-court shot. Such situations would be unthinkable in other sports, but vagaries of time are the norm in soccer .

Support our journalism with a year- end gift. The problem is that other things do not seem to be changing at all. A deeper healthcheck on the sport in Serbia is less positive While Serbia’ s national team hope their own gifts will be on show to the wider world 15 months from now, their cause would

Instead it ripped open fresh wounds.

Italian soccer has long been sullied by vile racism. This season that has been taken up a notch with Lukaku targeted for verbal abuse by fans in Cagliari, a match in Parma suspended when racist chants were heard coming from the crowd, a TV commentator dismissed for saying of Lukaku "the only way to [stop] him is maybe give him 10 bananas" and Roma banning a fan for life after he racially abused Brazilian defender Juan Jesus on social media.

And that was just September.

Two months later Brescia's Mario Balotelli threatened to leave the field after racist chants were directed at him in Verona, an incident Brescia president Massimo Cellino later appeared to minimize by saying of Balotelli, who has suffered repeated racist attacks in his native Italy: "What can I say? That he's black and he's working to whiten himself but he has great difficulties in this."

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Racism in soccer is real and way too prevalent. This is one of its more infamous moments. With the match scoreless, Barcelona was in their attacking end and won a corner. Racism hasn’t left soccer , despite the best efforts of some. Until there are some truly severe penalties for racist behavior, like

Racism in football – Racism has long been a stain on football but a resurgence of incidents in recent years has prompted soccer ' s authorities to launch a renewed bid to rid the game of discrimination for good. Racism in football – Balotelli has had to deal with racism throughout his career.

The team said Cellino, whose club is in last place, made the comments in jest. But former U.S. national team players DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu, both targets of racial taunts while playing in Europe, failed to see the humor.

"It hurts," said Beasley, who retired this fall after playing in a record-tying four World Cups. "At the end of the day we're people. We're human beings.

"It hurts that people see you in a different light just because of the color of your skin."

Onyewu was equally as troubled.

"We're almost 2020 now and the fact that this is actually still an issue in a progressive world, I'm without words," he said. "It shouldn't be accepted and it shouldn't be tolerated."

But it's still happening.

During Saturday's Premier League game in Manchester, video on social media captured a City supporter who appeared to be making racist gestures toward a Manchester United player.

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World news. Environment. Soccer . US politics. Business. Yet despite this diversity, the city struggles to make everyone feel included. Rotterdam, in particular, takes great pride in being liberal – meaning racism is rarely addressed.

It seems like we simply accepted racism as a part of our lives. According to Travis Waldron in “Black Soccer Targeted with Thousands of Racist Social Media Posts,” “ Racism , sexism, and homophobia was once a major problem, however it has now been replaced by something far worse, social media.”

In October, a Manchester United supporter was ejected after making racist comments during a game with Liverpool, one of several incidents that have marred English soccer this season.

Beasley was first subject to abuse 15 years ago, while playing a Champions League qualifying match for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven in Belgrade, where fans mocked him with monkey chants.

Three years later, while playing for Glasgow in a Champions League qualifier in Montenegro, fans made monkey noises every time Beasley or Guyanese teammate Jean-Claude Darcheville touched the ball.

"It's so hard to act like you don't hear it," Beasley said. "It's definitely not something you forget. It was 12 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday.

"Forget the game, forget the results, forget being a soccer player. The hardest [thing] is that it actually happened."

Onyewu was also abused repeatedly, the most severe incident coming in a 2009 match between Belgium clubs Standard Liege and Anderlecht. Onyewu said Anderlecht's Jelle Van Damme — who later played two seasons for the Galaxy — used racial slurs and called him "a dirty monkey" three times. Incensed, Onyewu sued, then settled out of court when Van Damme apologized publicly.

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Congo has become a never - ending nightmare, one of the bloodiest conflicts since World War II, with more than five million dead. It seems incomprehensible that the biggest country in sub-Saharan Africa and on paper one of the richest, teeming with copper, diamonds and gold

It didn't seem that many Japanese supporters were altogether surprised. A few years ago, Urawa' s That' s how the Japanese media decided to cover their country' s dark struggle with racism and its The match ended in a draw. Matt Negrin is writing a book about soccer fans around the world and at

On another occasion Onyewu said he was preparing for a throw-in when a fan reached out "and just clocked me."

"I look at the referee and he's telling me to play on as if I'm the one that's crazy. Like 'Oh get on with it. It's just nothing,' " he said. "That's a privilege to them that they don't have to go through it. But the people that have lived it, they understand the severity of an experience like that."

In Italy, "the rot is deep" according to Piara Powar, executive director of FARE, European soccer's anti-discrimination watchdog.

"They have failed to protect countless players from racism over the past year and have no meaningful response to the endemic racism in stadiums," Powar told the BBC. "No one is taking the issue seriously."

That may be starting to change. Ten days ago, Milan and Roma persuaded the 20 Serie A clubs to sign an open letter in which they publicly admitted Italian football has a chronic racism issue and called on the league deliver a comprehensive and robust anti-racism policy, stricter laws and a plan for educating those within the game about the scourge of racism.

"Italian football has been soft on racism for far too long and that is not something we are prepared to accept any more," said Paul Rogers, chief strategy officer for Roma. "In 2019 it shouldn't need a football club to tell anyone that making monkey noises or racist comments to black players is unacceptable."

A week later Corriere dello Sport proved just how difficult a fight Rogers and Roma have on their hands.

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Italian soccer condemned for using monkey paintings in anti-racism campaign .
"Once again Italian football leaves the world speechless," one campaign group said, describing the paintings as a "sick joke."However, the campaign that launched Monday has been widely condemned itself as exactly the type of tone-deaf approach that has blighted the game in Italy and beyond.

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