As soccer’s popularity grows and broadcast rights expand (particularly in the US), a much brighter spotlight is finally shining on the widespread racism many players repeatedly face.
The latest incident occurred this week during a Europa League match when Chelsea visited Slava Praha. The Blues when their Leg 1 game 1-0, but the main story that made the rounds after the match was a set of Chelsea fans engaging in a racist chant against Liverpool star Mohamed Salah. Chelsea visits Anfield on Sunday for a crucial Premier League match-up.
Extra demerits for being unoriginal twits.
Thanks in part to social media, racist incidents in European soccer is becoming a near weekly thing (for real). Some stars, like Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, have opened up thoughtful dialogue and called out hypocrisies in how European media covers players, but this issue unfortunately isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The issues goes deeper than some bad apple drunken fans. From parks and playground to top competitions, it’s a part of the culture. It’s the singular issue that could slow European soccer’s popularity here in the US.
Liverpool, Chelsea both condemn the incident
“Chelsea FC finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour abhorrent and where there is clear evidence of Chelsea season ticket holders or members involved in such behaviour, we will take the strongest possible action against them.
“Such individuals are an embarrassment to the vast majority of Chelsea supporters who won’t tolerate them in their club.”
The clubs get it, and change can only be affected from the top down.
Mo Salah Liverpool Chant
Counter the Chelsea chant with the absolute adoration that Liverpool fans shower Salah with every game, good performance or bad.
Start contrast, and it at least provides a glimmer of hope that the situation can improve.