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Discriminate Against Discrimination 

Well here we stand, another week of sports around the world almost done and unfortunately it has been joined with upsetting reports of more discrimination at a game. 

Unfortunately for me the newest addition to the despicable history of discrimination is to have occurred at a game in England’s third division involving my side Charlton away at Cheltenham. Now I am in no way stating what set of supporters instigated the chanting and the alleged abhorrent gesture of spitting at a player but in either incident stand up and make your way to a steward or ground employee and notify them of what is going on. 

Charlton Athletic’s Chuks Aneke (right) has a shot on goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium, Cheltenham. Image from thisislocallondon.co.uk

Now I understand for some people that are in those situations would feel like the will then be a target of discrimination but I believe there is a way to deal with that. Of course I don’t know if other countries already have a set up like this in place but at most sports stadiums here in Australia the have a message come up on the big screen that gives a number for people to report anti-social behaviour to. 

Admittedly that isn’t a perfect fix as what happens if someone isn’t in there seats when that message is put up? For me it’s simple, place the message and number on the back of the advertising hoardings around the ground and also have it clear and visible in all areas of the venue for all and sundry to be able to see from the seating bowl and when accessing other sections of the stadium. 

Yet even having that as an option for some reason or another we still unfortunately have a certain part of society that believes it has a right to distribute abuse of this nature. We merely need to look at the latest game in the rivalry between Adelaide United and the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park. 

Joshua Cavallo (red) in action against Melbourne Victory. Cavallo has said he suffered homophobic abuse from fans during the game. Photograph: Graham Denholm/Getty Images

On that occasion there was the upsetting news/reports about the discrimination and abuse against Josh Cavallo of Adelaide who is the first openly gay man in a professional top tier football league world wide. The fact that the whole global football community came out in support of Josh and this is still happening is to me disgusting and for me clubs need to be held accountable. 

For the time being we just need to see what action is taken against the Melbourne Victory as the FA have issued a show cause notice for the incidents yet what will be the outcome? Now I understand that it is so hard for clubs to be held accountable for what the fans do )despite what has been said in the past) but going forward I believe the only way to get things moving and to get things like this out of the game is to punish the fans by punishing the team they support, then and only then do I feel we will see the beginning of the end for discrimination in sports. 

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