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Racism and Sport

Sport helps to unite people of all nationalities and races, but sometimes-ethnic minorities can find themselves disadvantaged in the sporting arena. Ethnic minorities have in the past been excluded in sport and overlooked by coaches. Professional sportspeople are also sometimes subjected to racist taunts from spectators.

Commitment to racial equality will encourage more people from all ethnic backgrounds to take part in sport. It will also lead to fairer, more diverse representation at all levels in coaching and in sport.

Sporting Equals

Most of the Commission for Racial Equality's (CRE) work in sport is co-ordinated by Sporting Equals, a national initiative working to promote racial equality through a partnership with Sport England.

In 1999, a survey by Sporting Equals of 62 governing bodies of sport found that they needed more guidance, support and information to help them address racial equality issues within their sport. Sporting Equals works with the governing bodies and with key national umbrella organisations to develop policies and working practices that promote racial equality. It has also produced a racial equality charter for sport and has assisted the Local Government Association in producing its Promoting Racial Equality Through Sport standard.

Let's Kick Racism Out of Football

The Let's Kick Racism Out of Football campaign was started in 1993 by the CRE and the Professional Footballers' Association, with support from the Football Trust. It aimed 'to ensure that all who go to see or play football can do so without fear of racial abuse or harassment'.

Almost all of the professional football clubs in England and Wales immediately pledged their support for the campaign's 10-point action plan. In 1995, the Football Association, football's governing body, committed itself to kicking racism out of the game when a new organisation was formed.

The Advisory Group Against Racism and Intimidation (AGARI) was made up of representatives of all the main organisations in football - the first time ever that all football organisations had come together in a single cause. In 1997, the campaign changed its name to Kick It Out and became independent of the CRE.

The campaign's priorities are: -

  • Professional football: to ensure a continuing high profile among professional clubs
  • Young people: to develop educational resources for use by young people in schools, colleges and youth organisations
  • Amateur football: To work within grassroots and amateur football to eradicate racism in 'parks' football
  • Asians in football: to develop solutions to the problem of the marginalisation of Asians from many areas of the game
  • Black communities: to increase the participation of local ethnic minority communities within professional football clubs
  • European football: to highlight the issue of racism in European football and develop anti-racist networks

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