WITH ROMELU LUKAKU WANTING TO TAKE STEPS AGAINST FIGHTING RACISM, THE BATTLE IS ON TOWARDS ELIMINATING DIRT
Football is more than a game. It has transcended all borders and stigmas. The game is going global and breaking new barriers every time a ball is kicked. But shamefully, due to the foolishness of a few the players are suffering racial abuse.
The age of the internet has made hate spread too easily. Thankfully, we are in the age of socially conscious footballers too. Our heroes on the field aren’t simply restricted to it as they are proving to be role models of it too by fighting racism.
Can’t allow people limited perception define you…
— R.Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@RomeluLukaku9) September 9, 2021
Racism in this world has no place never mind football. But in football, when players take the field, it’s a result of thousands of hours of hard work.
The fans too support them with all their heart and blood. But when things go south, abuse becomes common. In a game filled with emotions, boiling over is common but when it turns to abuse it is simply unacceptable. That too, racial abuse is not to be tolerated anywhere in the sport. Be it on the pitch, or in the stands or on social media.
The players are not shy anymore. They have openly started speaking about the racism they faced. And they want some strict action to be taken so that this deep-rooted evil is eradicated from the game. Romelu Lukaku is the recent footballer who has opened up on this issue.
WHAT HAS BEEN SAID?
Romelu Lukaku, the energetic Chelsea striker is no stranger to racial abuse. He has faced similar forms of it in Italy and developed a thick skin. But deep down he knows that simply ignoring the issue isn’t a solution. Rather he decided he should stand up and fight the issue.
“I have to fight,” he told. “Because I’m not fighting only for myself. I’m fighting for my son, for my future kids, for my brother, for all of the other players and their kids, you know, for everybody.”
Mindset is key to most things
No matter how hard the struggle is and what Bs people are saying out there keep going…
— R.Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@RomeluLukaku9) September 7, 2021
He also calls for a meet between the social media giants to tackle the issue. Lukaku said, “The captains of every team, and four or five players, like the big personalities of every team, should have a meeting with the CEOs of Instagram and governments and the FA and the PFA, and we should just sit around the table and have a big meeting about it.”
“How we can attack it straight away, not only from the men’s game but also from the women’s game. I think just all of us together and just have a big meeting and have a conference and just talk about stuff that needs to be addressed to protect the players, but also to protect fans and younger players that want to become professional footballers.”
Lukaku’s Chelsea teammate Marcos Alonso said he wouldn’t take the knee anymore as he thought the symbol is losing its power. Lukaku agreed and accepted that they could make better and stronger gestures.
THE AGE OF HEROES
Gone are the days of taking racism casually. The players are fed up suffering personal abuse targeted at them. What’s worse is even the players’ families aren’t being spared by the sheepish racists. The silence of the players would only go on to encourage their behaviour. Hence they are becoming proactive in their ways. Besides, clubs are also supporting their cause leading to a full pronged fight.
Firstly, the Premier League clubs have undertaken a week-long social media blackout. As a part of this, all clubs refrained from posting on social media. They needed the digital giants to feel the heat and lead them towards taking steps towards fighting racism.
This morning our proposed changes to the Online Safety Bill were presented by the football authorities and former footballer and presenter Rio Ferdinand at the Joint Select Committee.
As the football industry, we're calling for the draft Online Safety Bill to be strengthened: pic.twitter.com/zpsUo1udEA
— Kick It Out (@kickitout) September 9, 2021
The Premier League also runs a special Kick it Out program that helps in educating citizens towards eliminating racist thoughts. With strict actions being taken on persons committing racist acts, they have helped in preventing the evil. Also, when it does occur, they are handing out harsh punishments.
Former players like Thierry Henry have pointed out how social media companies were lethargic towards fighting racism.
Despite all these fights, the players are experiencing racism again. Swansea city’s Yan Danda and Rhys Williams were sent abusive messages on their social media handles. Chelsea’s Reece James deactivated his social media accounts as he thought the hate was becoming too much.
As responsible citizens, it is our duty to make sure that our heroes can feel safe and play their best game possible. Racism shouldn’t be tolerated by anyone and any suspicious behaviour must be brought to immediate notice of concerned authorities.