December 22nd, 2011
04:47 PM GMT
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(CNN) – With football facing another racism row, questions are being raised about how the "beautiful game" can protect its brand – and its players’ marketability.

In November, FIFA president Sepp Blatter stoked controversy after telling CNN that racism on the pitch could be settled with a handshake. On Tuesday Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing a Manchester United player in October.

The UK prosecution service Wednesday said England football captain John Terry would face charges of racially abusing another player.

Terry will appear before magistrates in west London on February 1, 2012, and faces a maximum penalty of £2,500 ($3,900). He has denied the charges, saying in a statement that he will fight “tooth and nail to prove my innocence.”

Footballers are stars and should act like it

Whatever the outcome of the case, football itself has been tainted, says Ray Rudowski, regional director of crisis planning and training at PR agency Edelman. He told CNN that the wider questions for sponsors are how to use their influence and association with the game to ensure racism is eliminated.

The sport, Rudowski says, needs to admit to its problems if it wants to clean up. It then needs to formulate a policy for dealing with any issues that arise.

Individual situations are more complicated, he adds - but they should try and “reframe the conversation around ending racism as a stain on the game.”

Filed under: Business


soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. aurelius

    Racism is a fact of life and it will take many more generations to stop it. Western nations have attempted to force integration down the throat of people far too fast and other cultures have practiced it for thousands of years before that with much more dire consequences. Time for players from Africa to play in Africa, European players in Europe and so forth. A much more important and salutary value would come out of it: mutual respect. Personally, I wish to retain the choice of living and working among people of my own kind. Does that make me a racist? If you think so, you have just identified the source of the problem.

    December 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  2. Rob

    Racism is always going to be with us. White men more than any are the targets of racism in today's world. Lawsuits constantly are initiated against employers for not having enough female and minorities in management; however, it does nothing to address their lack of qualifications or the employers right to select the employee they believe is best for the job. In the not too distant past, companies like AT&T forbid the hiring of white males in management thanks to affirmative action and other contrived social engineering initiatives. Performance and qualifications should be the only criteria for hiring. In the case of Football, just check out the basketball courts in the USA and tell me what racial group is under represented. Generally speaking, it is Asians. Why? Because height matters in basketball.

    December 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  3. dutch

    Why don't you yankees market your own stupid little games, then you won't have to worry about how we deal with our problems. Damn you people are uptight...

    December 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  4. daytwah

    This has nothing to do with how white men suffer (neither one of these boys are white...) and this has nothing to do with outdated notions on ethnicity and nationality. Please, science, migration and statescraft have blown all those notions out of the water in terms of the human fantasy of "segregation;" laughable apes. Lets just focus on what this truly is: a spoiled wealthy footballer with a big ego and a runny mouth. Wow. Shocking.

    December 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  5. Patti

    This article shows the lack of knowledge of Ray Rudowski about soccer outside of the USA. I saw his interview on CNN and he clearly had never heard of existing anti racism campaigns and anti racisms laws in place in England. It might have been more helpful to interview someone who knew something about sports marketing outside the USA.

    December 22, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  6. Man

    Aurelius how do you find your own kind of people??? from the colour of skin??? or how they look like??? I think that's a basic skill all the animals posses so that they feel secure.. You must be feeling very insecure when "other people " are around you..well I thought the humans are smarter than that...Anyway .If the westerners wanted to live in their own country they shouldn't have ventured out to colonise and rob other nations....its too late now.. wonder who took africans out of africa Indians out of India etc etc....

    December 23, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  7. chris

    'damages beautiful game'? If anything this news strengthens it. At least some countries are committed to prosecuting racist, narrow minded, spoilt, overgrown children. America has barely confronted the issue of racism in sport, as well as a plethora of other prejudice's. This can only be a step forward for the 'beautiful game'.

    December 23, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  8. Abena

    We should all look at the big picture..it is not about racism in football, it is about racism in the world.In Africa it will be called tribalism, in religion we will call it extremism or fanatical believes. If Africans will admit it parents refuse inter tribal marriages or certain association with other tribes..some people feel they are superior. If the so called African race feel tribalistic towards each other then what is the bru ha ha about what we do to other races. Racism is deep tooted in human behaviour. Even those who claim they are not racist will behave differently when someone of their own colour comes into their shop and when some one of a different race comes in. Africa Americans will shout integration and yet have black music, BET, quick to call Obama first "Black president". Point of correction he is not the first black president. Hos black roots are not pure African American, it is African and besides he is also White (half). An advice for you, do not be myopic, you are so proud calling the first black president, if America does not rise from the place all the past "White" presidents put it before he took over, this will be the last time you will be uttering them words out of your mouth "A black President". Anyways, back to the topic of racism,, the world needs to come to a place where we accept AND respect eachother firstly as HUMANS before GENDER or RACE. Try being dark skinned in pale skinned Ireland (I live there and it is a daily dose). Our blood is red, we all fear, we all love, we all hope-Human. I rest my case

    December 23, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  9. nelson

    The world have changed. Racism is a psychological sickness and any racist need some serious psychological treatment in terms of advice and a new orientation. Our governments all over the world are also not helping to educate some ignorant public about the issue instead every racist issue is been swept under the carpet as if it is a hidden truth. How many times have i seen any advertisement rejecting racism in the national TV. Instead they are busy showing the public some irrelevant things that will not help in building a more decent and friendly society.Government need to have a rethink and a change of approach or our children will be greatly very disappointed for not telling them the truth.

    December 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  10. Frank

    Racism is rooted in England, period!

    December 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  11. Trca

    Innocent until proven guilty...yet the media has already tried and hung these men...

    December 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  12. timothy

    its not the fault of football, the media is at fault. noboby is black or white. those the media call blacks are actually AFRICANS.
    Refer to them by their country. Being called black or white is the root of racism. i will continue to campaign against all the media to stop using the colour word

    December 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  13. Sal

    This is demagogy. Racism is not something bound to this particular sport. It's something bound to every day life.
    Of course when players get paid so well and become millionaires they often are conceited about their own superiority. Unfortunately this is something dealing with any sport where there are men of different kinds. Soccer is not the only case.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm |

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