Anti-racism cause harmed by faux outrage re Hodgson

No one has been specific about what Roy Hodgson said at half-time in the England-Poland game, but I think we can safely say this: it quite simply wasn’t racist.

Clearly, what Mr Hodgson said was a reference to a film which involves, literally, an astronaut and a monkey. In the film, the monkey is the one with all the intelligence and all the ability. Comparing a player to the monkey, therefore, is a compliment – as the player himself has said. It has absolutely nothing to do with race.

The fact that it is a story at all in fact shows that we are not tackling racism, but rather pretending it doesn’t exist. It is alarming because, far from being civilised enough to kick racism out of football (and, more importantly, society), we haven’t even developed far enough to understand it. If we cannot distinguish between comments which are racist and comments which aren’t, how can we tackle it?

Worse still, the “faux outrage” around Hodgson merely means that real incidents of racism will be missed. People will begin to be cynical about the whole thing, and it will all become “The Girl Who Cried Wolf”.

Racism remains a serious problem in football (in fact, in society – football merely reflects that). We will only tackle it and kick it out once we actually understand what is racist and what isn’t. What Roy Hodgson said wasn’t.

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One thought on “Anti-racism cause harmed by faux outrage re Hodgson

  1. boondock says:

    English football and racism is becoming a joke rather than tackling the real issues we constantly are confronted with nonsense. The above example seems to reinforce the idea that words such as monkey and black will soon have to be banned because they just can not be used in any context without being deemed offensive. There was such an uproar when Alan Hansen used the term colour – yes it was not very pc even ignorant but certainly not racist and we have the daft situation at Spurs were fans are now being threatened if they use the term Yid/Yid army something they started to chant to ironically fight the racists but that seems to be lost on Peter Herbert.
    The FA certainly made a meal of the Suarez and Terry cases with both events being investigated poorly with ambiguous findings and inconsistent penalties which resulted in a number of black players withdrawing support for the kick racism out of football campaign.
    Thankfully racism is becoming less and less in English footbal but I agree we run the risk of getting bogged down in nonsense and not actually stamping out the real problems such as the monkey chants which are so audible in nearly every game in Eastern Europe (Last nights Man City Moscow match being the perfect example)

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