It broke my heart to watch Vinicius Jnr shed tears as he was being taunted and racially dehumanized by the Valencia’s fans
The football authorities are not doing enough to stamp racism out of football. Taking a knee is too little too late a gesture. We need more drastic actions.
Something like slamming a ban on the unruly fans of a particular club for three months so that the team plays to an empty stadium. Something like relegating a club whose supporters act racist to deter the supporters of other clubs from incendiary acts of racism. And something like a complete ban on a racist club to serve as a strong warning and a clear demonstration that the world does not want racism in football.
You see, football can be a powerful weapon against racism. It is the most widely accepted global stage where people of the world compete against each other on a fair and equal footing, without the privileges of race, class and other forms of social stratification. It is the only stage where people from the least powerful regions of the world can stand up against the world’s greatest communities. Football is a contest that plays out before everybody.
Consequently, stamping out racism from football will force the world to rethink racism. Racism will never end if football continues to encourage it in any conceivable way. If all the football authorities continue to give it a pat on the back.
It broke my heart to watch Vinicius Jnr shed tears as he was being taunted and racially dehumanized by the Valencia’s fans. It is even more ridiculous to learn that the La Liga authorities had reduced the punishment for that abuse to a partial closure of the Mestalla Stadium for just three matches and a paltry €27,000 fine. What an insult! That the La Liga President, Javier Tebas had even launched a twitter dispute with Vinicius following the racial abuse of the player by Valencia fans speaks to the brazen endorsement of racism by the Spanish Football Federation. And I say, shame on Spain for being so racist in 2023!