Serbian Shocker

Posted: October 18, 2012 in This is the Voice of Lefty Reason

Disgraceful scenes in Serbia this week as several black English soccer players were subjected to racist abuse by the Serbian crowd and some of its team.  Cast your mind back not that many years and the monkey chanting and banana throwing were commonplace occurrences at many an English football ground.  The black trailblazers of our national game like Cyril Regis, Brendan Batson and Viv Anderson had to endure this nonsense week in and week out as they attempted to make a living in the midst of extreme prejudice and hatred.  Thankfully we have, on the whole, managed to eradicate such sickening behaviour from our domestic game but travel abroad and the picture once more becomes mired in hatred and ignorance.  Football provides a barometer for national feeling; as the country experienced economic growth and prosperity the crowds at games changed also, Fergie’s fabled prawn sandwich munchers provided a middle class prospective and atmospheres became almost genteel with hooliganism and racism banished to the margins of society where they belong.  Some may view this with a sense of loss as the game became the game of the Boden wearing, tapas devouring middle classes; the cages came down, seats were mandatory and in-stadia fisticuffs went back to the backstreets.  The shock-in-Serbia is so shocking partly because we have been through racism and emerged the other side as a united, content, judge on merit society.  There are still racists out there of course; let us condemn them and their hideous thoughts to the past where they belong.  We are a mongrel nation; we always have been, let’s celebrate that.

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