Racism on the pitch,

by Liping on September 29, 2014 - 10:10pm

In Donna Bowater’s article “Racism on Soccer Field in Brazil Still Hidden not so Deep Beneath the Surface”, posted on Al Jazeeri’s website on June 9th, 2014, we get sort of an insider’s point of view on racism in the sport, particularly in Brazil. She got statements from people who are involved in this world and that have witnessed this first hand. Racism in the sports world is not something we hear of often, she brings some things to light, for example, Enedine Neto, the director for promotion of racial equality and others throughout the Brazilian population believe that racism is a foreign problem in their country as Brazil itself is a “tolerant” nation. Angelo Marques Pereira also believes this as he states that since the sport is now dominated by black players, racism no longer exists and in the end everyone is treated equally. On the other hand, people like Cristóvão Borges believes that what is happening throughout the soccer world reflects what is happening in Brazil’s society itself. He brings to attention that what has to do with race is related to society as a whole, and that the “integration” of black people is difficult anywhere and everywhere. The fact that Brazil brought in two black coaches for two big teams in the league is sign of “evolution” as these are big roles to fill when it comes to a soccer team, although this is a big advancement, it still leaves room for a racial barrier. Borges also coached the highly reputed team Vasco de Gama, and felt the racial abuse coming from the fans , he knows that as a coach it is normal to be criticized but he felt it was worse for him as some insults were aimed at his colour and not only his coaching skills. Also, many of the important roles in the football club are occupied by white Brazilians. To conclude there is more to racism in soccer than what they show us.


I believe this article shows us another side of the sport that we hear less of. Before this year’s FIFA, where a player had a banana thrown at him, I had seldom heard of racism displayed so bluntly on the pitch, except for Balotelli a few years back. So this article opened my eyes to the fact that racism is really all around us, whether we hear about it or not. I also realized that there are a lot of people who deny the existence of racism in this situation just to up-keep the image of a nation and a sport (discourse of denial). Although the article didn’t really get into what they defined as race, we can still see that some believe race is directly related to society. It doesn’t give us a better idea of what race is per say, but it gives us a better idea of how it affects people, a nation and that even in today’s day and age there are signs of discrimination because of skin colour no matter how subtle. In the article, De Campos says “those who believe there is no racism in Brazil are either badly informed or badly intentioned.” I agree with this because we see this even in our Canadian society, people don’t want to admit to racism and find it easier to just deny that it’s happening, which I find ignorant. It doesn’t help the problem if we don’t face up to it.   


Bowater, D. (2014, June 9). Racism on Soccer Field in Brazil Still Hidden not so Deep Beneath the Surface. Retrieved from http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/6/9/brazil-soccer-racism.html


When I started reading your post I really got hooked onto it because it was talking about racism integrated with sports, which is definitely something we do not hear of often. I agree with the idea that racism is all around us and we may not even realize it. I cannot believe that people like "Angelo Marques Pereira" have a certain doubt that racism still exists. For instance, you mentioned how Pereira thinks that just because black players dominate sports, means that racism is no longer present in our everyday lives. I find this comment coming from him is very ignorant. Therefore, I agree with you when you have mentioned how many people still deny the fact that racism prevails in our society in order to keep up that image of a sport which is supposed to be all about sportsmanship and working as a team (as one). I find it ridiculous how people seem to be more focused on the person's skin colour rather than the way they play/coach. I agree with you when you have mentioned that if people just keep ignoring racism, and keep running away from it, the problem will never get better. As a result, I wonder if there should be enforced rules when there is a game going on, that if any fan says something negative/racist/discriminating towards a player, they should get a big fine. There would be security walking up and down the stands (where fans are seated). What do you think of this idea?

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