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Views on the News: Racism & Football


Views on The News: Racism & Football

Name calling, tweeting and sharing on Facebook can now get you locked up especially if its football related and involves an ‘ethnic qualifier’. Why, young volunteers ask, is football in the frame?  Is this what racism is today-bad language? Are we so sensitive we can’t cope with a few insults and need protection by a state which still deports migrants? In this report, intercut with the infamous John Terry case and more, Dr Stuart Waiton answers a plethora of thought provoking questions and puts more than the case for unfettered free speech on the terraces, on the pitch and beyond. Stuart Waiton’s new book: Snobs’ Law: Criminalising Football Fans In An Age Of Intolerance will be launched at the Battle of Ideas Festival in October and is available on Amazon here.

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Related topics: Civil Liberties

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Harmony said:

I think the line on freedom of speech should be drawn, when someone makes a clearly vile comment about something which is out of the victim’s control, such as race and gender. I agree that people need to learn to just ignore certain racist comments, but if racist words are purposefully being conveyed to the public ( e.g. in a book or during a public event about white or black superiority) then I believe censorship needs to take place.

Eden said:

I think this program sheds a lot of light on the ominous intervention of the state in affairs that logically do not concern them. I think the discussion of how far is too far and the appropriate response to racial language is a step in the right direction.

Dr Peter Jepson said:

One central reason why the focus in any legal cases is on the words used is because the law requires proof of ‘racial hostility’ and not proof of a racial motive’. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 in effect requires proof of racial hostility. The words used help provide clear evidence of that. Read my book ‘Tackling Militant Racism’ for a discussion of this matter.

Ahmed said:

A very well made programme, arguing against the unnecessary amount of attention given to minor issues such as offensive name calling in a passionate sport, which is bound to occur. Our sensitivities have changed along the generations, however asking the government to censor certain elements of our speech is not the way forward.

Ricardo said:

Wow at last someone prepared to argue against the meddling in football I really agree with this and think it should be on TV as what we are getting is the opposite as Dr waiton says the authorities think white working calss fans are one racist song away from being a biggoted mob and WE ARE NOT.

Julie said:

Not sure what I think now, racist language is vile, no the law and police should not be involved as they are worse but what about standards doesn’t it matter if it’s football. Hmm you have made me think and I get Stuart’s point it is just a game.

G. Polarrd said:

Really agree with the girl who says we have become too sensitive. The point about feigned injury and the images made me laugh out loud. This should be on TV but then they never show anything so questioning of the ‘official view’.

Sue Dvorkin said:

I am not a big football fan but found this gripping. When Stuart says though combatting racism is about challenging ideas I’m not sure if he is entirely right as isn’t there a practical side to this? Being against border controls isn’t just about ideas is it?

Stacy H said:

Agree with guy below but people are still being deprted based on where they were born so we haven’t completely solved racism. I don’t think insults are the problem and the crack down on them does make us pathetic and give the state a lot of power based on their elitism.

James Arthur said:

Excellent programme and does raise the question what is racism now then?