To what extent has racism been a part of English football?

Essay by harksyUniversity, Bachelor's June 2004

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To what extent has racism been a part of English football?

Recently in a Champions league semi-final match between Monaco and Chelsea Ron Atkinson was working as a pundit for ITV. Ron Atkinson has been involved in football for over 40 years. After his playing career was over he went on to become a successful manager for such prestigious clubs as Manchester United, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion. He is also credited for bringing through black players into the English game, in a period were this was a rarity. He is highly regarded as a knowledgeable ambassador for the game. However after the afore mentioned champions league game he was heard, although of air, in the middle east describing Chelsea's world cup winning captain Marcel Desailly as a 'fucking lazy, thick nigger' The media the next day following this incident was dominated by the allegations that Ron Atkinson was racist.

Although he has since apologised, he has been forced to quit his job with ITV, and has lost his role writing a column for the guardian newspaper.

The following is an exert from an article in the Guardian newspaper following the incident;

"'Big Ron' Atkinson has made a name for himself with his clever catchphrases and colourful cliches. In one moment of madness last week, though, he showed a side of his personality that was neither big nor clever when, speaking into a microphone he did not think was on, he referred to Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly as 'what is known in some schools as a fucking lazy, thick nigger'.

The next day Atkinson's world collapsed around him.

He resigned from his job at ITV. He had to give up his column in the Guardian. And he lost a fortune - as much as £1 million - when other...