A report on racism, ethnic discrimination and the exclusion of migrants and minorities in sport has been issued by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency. It contains the results of interviews with representatives of sport federations, player and athlete organisations and non-governmental organisations from across the EU, together with an analysis of secondary data and information. The research findings show that in many sports across the European Union, minorities and migrants are underrepresented, particularly in the management positions of sport organisations. Women and girls with a minority or migrant background are particularly underrepresented. The findings also highlight the fact that although media focus tends to be on racist incidents perpetrated in professional sport, such incidents also occur in amateur sports – not only by fans, but also between players, referees and club officials. For a copy of the report, click here.
This has the makings of a great doctoral thesis topic, and a book. I think of the United States, where discrimination in professional sport was a significant component of the fight for racial equality. Or South Africa, where the boycott of national teams during the apartheid era is said to have had more impact within the country than economic sanctions. An imaginative student could put together a fascinating package on the human rights issues involved in sport, both amateur and professional.