By: Jungwho Kim
Within society today there have been stories of racism that we do not really look deeper into. Athletes have been singled out by the opposing team’s fans and degraded, mocked, and slurred. What many of us though do not is how long this has been going on and even after all that’s been done to neutralize racism it still continues.
A good example is during the 1950’s soccer became a prominent sport all across Europe. During this time soccer was generally viewed as a sport taken on by Caucasians. With the competition of the World Cup bringing countries around the world together to compete, different races were introduced to different stereotypes of other cultures. At this time a male of African descent became widely acknowledged as one of the greats to ever grace the soccer pitch. His name was Pele. Racism at this time was a huge issue to the point where players would not be selected for a team whether he may have been the best player on the field. With the acknowledgement of people like Pele part of the world has come to appreciate all players whatever skin tone they may be.
Skip a couple decades and now we have still have the same problem. Athletes are being jeered by opposing fans, mocked for looking like a monkey. It is not only the fans that believe that some people don’t belong in the sport but other athletes as well. Racism has not stopped and is a huge issue where sports are supposed to be indifferent towards the person’s race and promote competiveness and recreation but instead we have people promoting the opposite.
To address this problem we can cross the Atlantic ocean and come across figures like Kobe Bryant, Donovan Mcnabb or Tiger Woods that have been idolized by so many. Players aren’t distinguished by their race but by their skill and dedication to their sport. People respect what they have strived for and are encouraged to watch and cheer for their team versus a soccer team in Europe where a player will booed until he is taken off the pitch.