A beautiful game, an ugly human nature

Soccer is arguably the world’s most popular sport. The recent World Cup in South Africa which drew unprecedented global viewership reinforced that notion. Being a sport, soccer has also been heralded as a beautiful game that unites people from different cultures and backgrounds. However, the above video (shot before the last World Cup in 2006) reminds us that racists and extremists sentiments still linger in the game, especially in western Europe–a region that doesn’t really have a vibrant history of civil rights or anti-discrimination movements.

Why do you think such sentiments persists even today despite all that has been done so far to stamp out and curb racism?

Do these incidents affect the potential value of sports as a vehicle against prejudice and discrimination? Should more measures be taken by the respective governing bodies?

Are there similar incidents in Singapore? Does our lukewarm reception toward our China born national peddlers suggest a similar problem/issue?

3 thoughts on “A beautiful game, an ugly human nature

  1. 1.
    – lack of understanding
    – national pride (historical origins)
    – More team bondings
    – national pride (singaporeans prefer to see the local athletes gaining sporting recognition)

  2. 1. People are still surrounded by the racist society & therefore their thoughts are influenced by their actions. The tradition is passed on from generation to generation and is hard to stamp out.

    2. yes it does affect, though nothing much can be done about it if people continue to want to discriminate.

    3. We don’t have discrimination though not as severe.

  3. 1. Jealousy. The europeans still keep their colonialist attitudes with them. Hence they are unable to accept that African players can be better than them. As a result, some still resort to racist chants to prove theri “superiority”

    2. Yes it does. It gives a negative image of the sport to the public. Thus people will view sports as an example of racism instead of something that is against it. Harder measures should be implemented if we are to really get rid of racism in sports. Current campaigns do not have the power to force fans to stop being racist.

    3. Yes. Taking the example of the table tennis team, Singaporeans still feel that they do not represent us. Even though they havwe already chosen to play for us, many are still unable to forget their roots and treat them as “China-born”

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