Racism in football has long been making the headlines.  At the beginning of the twentieth century Walter Tull was the first black man to play for Tottenham Hotspur.  It is believed that his glittering career was cut short by racism; he was dropped from the first team then sold to Northampton Town. 

In 1914 Tull enlisted in the Footballers Battalion (Middlesex Regiment).  He was promoted three times after leading a raid across enemy lines.  He was then recommended for a Military Cross for outstanding bravery and leadership, however, he never received this.  His family were informed that he had been recommended by two fellow officers who broke the rules to do so.  According to the manual of Military Law infantry officers had to be of pure European descent.  Tull was killed in action in the Somme in 1918.  In 1999 Northampton Town unveiled a memorial in his honour.  Hopes are growing that finally he will be recognised for the sacrifice he made.  A play about his life is being unveiled at a theatre in Bolton.  

In December 2012 Liverpool’s Suarez was given an eight match ban and a £40,000 fine after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Evra.  

In July ex-England captain John Terry was in a high profile racism case, but he was cleared of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. 

There is a long way to go to reduce racism in football.  Many management and boardroom positions are all white and all male, there is no diversity.   There is evidence to show that homophobia is a bigger problem than discrimination.  

Racial discrimination is damaging to all organisations, not just the football industry.  It occurs when a person is treated less favourably because of their race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.  The Equality Act makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against other employees because of these characteristics.

ACAS provides guidance on race discrimination, which covers four areas:

Employers should have an equal opportunities policy in place that is well communicated to the workforce.  Training should be provided for employees and managers so everyone knows how it operates.  
 
Racism has its roots in the difference between skin colour, yet what everyone needs to realise is that there is an elegant theory that we are all descended out of Africa and we all used to be black.  Our skins became white overtime because we only need a few minutes to sunshine to manufacture sufficient vitamin D whereas black people need one hour in the sun.  This is evidence of natural selection which flies in the face of the human race judging everyone’s differences .  
 
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