To be honest, I don't really know how to start this blog post. Last night, we as fans of the English national team should have been proud how far we came in that tournament. It was an achievement in itself that that squad finished as runners up. Look at Euro 2016; the England squad were knocked out in the last sixteen after losing to Iceland 2-1. So as we all know, this is the best the squad has done since winning the World Cup in 1966. But after last night, I feel deeply saddened and disappointed as a nation that yet again we are still discriminating black players on the outcome of the result. I'm angry that a minority think it is right to be so cruel, especially hearing it in person last night in a public atmosphere. We are all human. We all have a heart. We all have a soul. Why should the colour of ones skin differ the way we act towards someone. We are all put on this Earth as equals. Last night, it was proven that the England squad had worked so hard to get to the final, but sadly, it was not their night. Someone had to lose, and I'm afraid that was us. But we should be proud to have come second. This was the best the England team had come in a very long time. This behaviour is completely "unforgivable" with Gareth Southgate saying "It's just not what we stand for.....it's my decision who takes the penalties, it's not a case of players not volunteering or more experienced players backing out."
This should not be tolerated! In this day and age, I wanted to know and ask "why do we still experience racism?", and the responses were really interesting.
Ingrained into the system. The majority of people in towns with little diversity don't experience it, so it's less of a prominent thought to them leading to no fight for change. Also, racism is taught. Whilst there is still not enough deserved justice or punishments for racists, it will continue to be active in society and passed down generations.
Opinions are passed down through generations, children learn to hate from their parents and the people they are surrounded by, it takes time for these opinions to disappear from society.
Racism buried in the media, even if your parents don’t teach you racism we see people of colour being treated differently in media
Racism is similar to other prejudices. Sexism, homophobia, etc - these exist because humans are fundamentally programmed to fear something that is "other" to them.
I feel that it's taught and ingrained into the minds of those that lack education and thrive off of ignorance. If schools were to implement black history into the Curriculum it will give a better understanding of black culture history and what black people have brought to the table. The fact that the systems alongside people in power have been put in place and created to diminish black people being able to pursue careers/education and achieve to the level of their peers. ALOT needs to change for racism to be taken seriously and for it to have more intense laws put in place so it will deter people from being openly racist.
These are all opinions from an anonymous survey that I took and overall, they ultimately all say the same thing; opinions are passed down in generations, it's not taught enough and it's ingrained in our society.
Can I just remind you, Saka is only 19 years old - he had a great tournament as has a great future in front of him. He was asked to take the fifth penalty for England which is a very stressful and tense situation. This was also his first penalty he has ever taken in professional football. Saka alongside Jadon Sancho are role models to others. Not to forget Marcus Rashford. He has fed millions of hungry children and supported so many families due to the financials difficulties of Covid-19; were these people commenting racist comments thinking about that, or even their own families who were potentially supported by him?
Christiano Ronaldo missed a penalty against Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League Final so it is so easy for everyone to make mistakes!
I asked via a questionnaire if people thought racism would ever stop. These were the responses:
I want racism to end, this world is consistent in pushing through laws for things that our less important. I believe with education and more laws being more intense again will deter the situation.
I hope racism will come to a gradual end, but I think for the rest of my lifetime it will be consistent unfortunately, or the lessening will be so gradual as to only be visible with hindsight. But I hope that it will end.
Unfortunately, unless there is a major change in what we are teaching young children and how we approach the subject and the system, I think racism will be the same as it is today. Although, I feel as if each generation is becoming slightly more accepting (this isn't to say that natural biases etc don't still exist but just that people are slightly more open minded when it comes to even hiring or talking to an ethnic minority group) and despite having so so far to go, we have made strides in where we have come in the last 100 years, which could positively suggest we are heading in the right direction for change.
I think it was always exist. There will always be a type of person ignorant enough to think themselves superior. That’s just human nature. And remember, inferiority breeds superiority. People who aren’t confident enough in themselves to love and appreciate everyone else will always seek a way to make themselves feel better, more important. That’s true for everyone who dislikes any minority group and for bullies everywhere.
The question is, can we ever defeat racism. Truthfully, the sad fact is I think racism will always be a present thing. But there are ways in which we can prevent it.
Think before you speak. Words can hurt whether you mean them to or no
Don't let others get away with biased language or behaviour- speak up and out
Don't tell or laugh at stereotypical jokes
Take a position against hate and take a Stand Against Racism
Be a proactive parent. Talk to your children candidly about race
Learn about other people and their culture but go beyond foods and festivals
I hope this will end. No one should ever put up with this behaviour, and I hope as a nation, we can stamp out this cruel behaviour and come out stronger as a country.
We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together
- Gareth Southgate