Shining a Light on Specific Racial Discrimination Cases in Sports

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by admin

Racism is a sin that has been committed extensively throughout history in many different countries. It is an ugly, unwelcome, and unacceptable vice that creates hatred and anger based on race by treating some people as more important than others and dividing countries into two or more groups. Alas, there are still instances of racism and racial inequality in a variety of business sectors, and new ones are reported daily.

The sports industry is one that has recently come to be associated with racial discrimination, and many professional athletes are reporting instances of discrimination against individuals, teams, and organizations they have previously collaborated with. By the way, you can know more about betting on sports in one of the African sports meccas, Kenya, by following the link we provide.

In sports, racism is a widespread problem that has a negative impact on people’s mental health, among other things. Racism can specifically target athletes because of their prominent position and visibility. It is important to know more about this ugly phenomenon to raise awareness and attract the attention of the global community

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Discrimination in Sports: Myth or Reality?

Athletes of color face discrimination and harassment from spectators, rival teams, teammates, and team staff. It is not unusual to hear racist remarks, whether from the stands or in the locker room. In sports, racial discrimination can also take less explicit forms. For example, minority athletes might not be as welcome in some sports as they are in others, like tennis and golf. Given the prevalence of people of color among the underprivileged, socioeconomic barriers may deter minority athletes from participating in these sports, which are frequently played at paid clubs.

Here Comes the Story

Researchers, sociologists, historians, and scientists have all looked at the complicated topic of race in sports from a variety of perspectives. Race has been a crucial factor in modern sports history, especially between individuals with black and white skin tones. The majority of black athletes were prohibited from competing in professional tournaments like the Olympics and other international organized sports during the early 1900s. Society forced African

Americans to establish segregated, independent teams and leagues. It is especially unfair since sports and betting on sports are especially popular with the Black community.

Natural Traits

White athletes are typically recognized for their “discipline,” “hard work,” and “knowledge of a game,” while black athletes are typically recognized for their “natural athleticism.”  People’s ability to claim sports roles may also be impacted by these stereotypes about sports. Although the majority of employers don’t care about an employee’s inborn athletic ability, the overrepresentation of Black and Brown communities in sports roles may be partially explained by stereotypes of these groups as being “athletically superior.”

The same racist generalizations that are the basis of racism and race-based discrimination are also applied when stereotypes start to imply that particular races have particular traits, whether they be positive or negative.

Cases of Racial Discrimination in Sports

Racism is a long-standing problem in both life and sports. Racism-related disputes and accusations have surrounded both domestic and international athletic events, ranging from player conflicts to hostile verbal abuse from sports fans.

Despite the fact that there are far too many instances to list, here are some reported cases of racism in the sports industry.

The Alves Case

During a La Liga match in the 2013–14 season, a Villarreal supporter threw a banana at FC Barcelona right-back Dani Alves. The way Dani responded was priceless. After grabbing and devouring the banana, he took a corner for his team. The Spanish Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee punished Villarreal with a fine of EUR 12,000.

The Lin Case

It is not unusual for drunk and unwitting fans to be at the center of racial controversy. It is even more disturbing when experts are at fault.

Before becoming a superstar, Jeremy Lin was a forgotten bench player for the New York Knicks. And the timing couldn’t have been more ideal for pun-loving sportswriters. Puns like “Lin-sanity” and “Lincredible” are just a couple of the ways that writers have described his amazing and surprising play.

Until a columnist went too far, that is. A few hours following the Knicks’ defeat in a contest in which Lin performed poorly, ESPN ran the headline “Chink In The Armor,” making reference to Lin’s pretty mediocre play. After this mean-spirited quote, Lin claimed that he had been called a “chink” by others when he was a Harvard undergraduate. Because of his unacceptable behavior, the staff member who ran the headline was ultimately fired.

The Balotelli Case

Because of its immense global appeal, soccer is perhaps the sport with the widest cultural diversity. One of the most well-known figures in international soccer is Mario Balotelli. Balotelli was born in Italy, but his parents were immigrants from Ghana. Because of the color of his skin, Balotelli has frequently been the subject of racist comments during his career. Even his own Italian supporters have taken aim at him. Balotelli endured racist taunts and harassment from passers-by during his training for the World Cup.

Chelsea Fans Gone Wild

A video of Chelsea supporters singing racist chants and preventing a black man from boarding a train surfaced prior to the Champions League matchup between Chelsea and Paris St. Germain in March 2015, sparking accusations of racism against the club.

Ban on Soul Caps

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) banned the swimming caps made for Afro hair from being worn at international competitions, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Swimming hats made specifically for Black people are called soul caps. Because afro hair has fewer cell layers than other types of hair, it is naturally drier.

Pool chemicals have the potential to further dry it out, causing damage. Because of their elasticity, modern swimming hats are frequently problematic.

A uniform and required dress code that is designed in a particular way can be a major barrier, but the truth is that barriers like these will persist if we can’t find a way to include the experience and insight needed when we create programs, policies, strategies, and products. This is because the industry has historically and currently lacks diversity.


The Role of Social Media in the Issue

Many people think that this ability should be taken away in order to stop repeat offenders from making new accounts, flooding footballers’ pages with spam, and evading digital responsibility.

Social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have defended themselves by claiming that they have teams that monitor online harassment and that they use tools to combat racism.

Despite this, because words, emojis, and phrases can have diverse meanings and translations in different contexts, it can be challenging to fully filter all forms of abuse.

As a result, if the abuse is happening in massive amounts, players must report it themselves rather than having it automatically filtered out and eliminated. This can be upsetting and stressful.

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The Impact of Racism on Athletes’ Mental Health

High expectations are placed on athletes both on and off the field, which can cause tension and pressure to rise. Racism can make these mental health issues worse and make the competition environment unfriendly for athletes. Racism can negatively affect an athlete’s mental health in a variety of ways, from covert acts of discrimination to subtle microaggressions.

Depression and Anxiety

Racism in sports can lead to anxiety and depression. Racism can make athletes feel alone, unaccepted, and helpless, which can result in depressive and anxious thoughts.

Ego Issues

Self-doubt can arise in athletes when they encounter racism. They might doubt their skills, their sense of belonging, and whether their achievements are valued fairly.


Racism can cause athletes to develop PTSD. They might go through racist traumatizing experiences like verbal or physical abuse, which can cause them to have persistent psychological distress.


Nevertheless, if racism is so obviously present in the sports industry, then efforts to criminalize and lessen it must be progressing, right? Racial harassment and discrimination should not be tolerated in sports organizations.

Athletes of all races will feel safer and more welcomed if minority athletes are supported, and this can be achieved by creating a good reporting tool and treating every case seriously.

The governing bodies have taken action against individuals who are found to be acting in a racist manner during games or who harass players on social media. However, as previously stated, the penalties for racial abuse are typically not strong or consistent enough to bring about meaningful change. Below are the possible solutions on how to lessen racism in sports.

💡 Compose a policy that explicitly prohibits racism. This should be applicable to fans, staff, coaches, and athletes. Make it known that any kind of racial discrimination is not tolerated in your company.

💡 Encourage athletes who speak out. Players should be urged to report instances of racial discrimination that they encounter or witness. If athletes speak out against racism in public, do not accept the notion that they should “shut up and stick to sports.”

💡 Don’t base your opinions about athletes on their race. A player is not necessarily more or less suited to a particular sport just because of the color of their skin.

💡 Provide a secure area for sports for recent immigrants. There is a wide range of national, racial, and linguistic backgrounds among immigrants. Make your company friendly and easily reachable for them.

💡 Put inclusion first. Teams should make an effort to include every player equally in the planning of skill- and team-building exercises.

Day Against Racism

The International Day for the Elimination of Racism is observed on March 21. The United Nations organizes this annual event, which is also known as the International Day Against Racism, to honor discrimination that still exists and undermines our society, workplace, sports, and daily lives.

This annual awareness day was first established to remember the 69 protestors who were killed by South African police in 1960 during a demonstration against the country’s “pass laws” for apartheid.

On this day, people take a moment to consider what happened and to consider how racism, discrimination, and racial inequality still exist in contemporary society.


The world of sports is full of rivalry, excitement, and controversy. Though, in the end, it is only a game, we love to talk about.. Even more significant than anything that occurs on the field is frequently the controversy that accompanies the excitement.

Racism has been a major problem in sports for several decades now. Too bad it still raises its ugly head nowadays. Athletes can compete practically anywhere these days, thanks to the globalization of the sports industry.


Meet Ogbeide Frank, popularly known as perere, a blogger who loves writing about finance and Tech. He studied Business administration at the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma and Mobile Communication at Orange College Malaysia .Frank have worked as a banker and consultant in variety of Nigeria agencies

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Ogbeide Frank loves writing and research about finance and Tech. He studied Business administration at the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma and Mobile Communication at Orange College Malaysia .Frank have worked as a banker and consultant in variety of Nigeria agencies For Advertisement, Content marketing and sponsored post: contact :
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