One can't win the fight, but the fight can be won
I wrote an earlier article in support of Sulley Muntari and the shocking treatment he received whilst highlighting the diabolical aftermath that followed. I helped put a message out about some good and great players and in one case manager that have contributed to the cause of Bradford City from different backgrounds. Players we can all be proud of and what difference they made. I know my club wouldn't have had the great experiences we have had over the decades if it wasn't for the hard work by everybody of all cultures, and long may it continue.
When Garth Crooks came out saying all black players should strike, I contacted Kick it Out more or less straight away supporting his sentiment but highlighted one can't win the fight, but the fight can be won, so racism is something we must all tackle and fight against. Before the morning I saw his message changed on the BBC website saying everyone, both black and white players should strike. I didn't get a reply from them, but it did feel good that someone as important and well known as Garth Crooks got my humble message.
What is surprising me is the message Sulley Muntari is coming out speaking about how much better it is in England for tackling racismWhat is surprising me is the message Sulley Muntari is coming out speaking about how much better it is in England for tackling racism. I think of recent cases such as Suarez and worse still the case of John Terry who was still allowed to represent his country with the investigations going on. In any other industry, he would have been suspended, either found innocent or sacked, but in football the support a player gets, guilty or not is based on how good a player they are. I very much doubt Chelsea and the English FA would have supported a fringe player as much as they did Terry, and what message did that give out? You can't then blame some idiots in France coincidentally representing John Terry's club in another racist incident on the train, I bet their mums were proud and still available for all to see still on YouTube and other sites, well done lads. Great to be British eh? I'm sorry Chelsea, you encouraged such behaviour from your fans with how you handled the Terry case. If he wasn't guilty, why was he fined him and given a short ban. You don't punish an innocent man like that for any misdemeanour or crime. I've never seen a player fined for not hitting another player, I've never seen a player fined and banned for not stamping on someone's head, and correct me if I am wrong, I didn't see Jose Mourinho get into trouble this past weekend for not head butting a referee and not doing a round house on the linesman. It just doesn't happen, you DO NOT punish a man that is innocent. Or is it a case, some players are too important to be found "guilty"? For me the whole John Terry case left a very horrible taste and lack of respect with the English FA and Chelsea's officials. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the club as a whole and think they have great passionate fans, but the whole episode stank. Although Muntari has praised the English game and culture, we still have a long way to go in eradicating and standing up to racism.
This is where we all come in. If players of any culture or background are subjected to abuse, I would call for common sense, I would like to think Muntari would speak to the referee first, and then if he is unhappy at the referee's actions/decision, I would wholly support and back him and all his teams mates to walk off the pitch. I would also call on all clubs to take stronger action against the racists in the stands, the rest of us don't want to hear you. The rest don't even want you. Stand up to them in numbers, speak to a steward in confidence away from your seat on the way to the toilet so it isn't obvious. If players walk off, have supporters protest against any inaction or injustice and walk onto the pitch in numbers, not storm the pitch as we don't want anyone hurt.
Talking about stopping racism does jack, moaning about it and name calling a racist on facebook or twitter does jack. Who honestly cares what you say just to get 'likes' for your own gratification, it accomplishes nothing. Action is the best anyone can do, report it, protest in numbers against the racist, not against people that aren't racist, I don't think a fascist would be bothered if a million people had a march in London or Leeds or Manchester, they'd be too busy down the pub. Boycott any company or service that doesn't tackle racism and racism not just against black people, but brown, white, yellow, red, blue, pink even the man on the moon. Racism takes many forms, as do the victims. Let's fight it together.
Muntari was "sent off on 89 minutes. If anyone is in support of Muntari, I will ask if you can shout his name in the next game you attend, be it at Wembley or a play off, or even a match abroad. Shout his name out on 89 minutes and tell the world enough is enough. It would only take 10 supporters to shout his name and the rest will follow. That's all it would take to spread a message in the stands, 10. This is why the good need to be heard. Feel free to shout my phrase "One can't win the fight, but the fight can be won". It's about time decent respectable people of all colours were heard and did something rather than just sit back and hope someone else will. It doesn't work like that.