Discrimination has and always will be a part of any activity within a group of people. The controversial issues surrounding this issue mainly revolve around inequality between gender, religious aspects, race, and disability. Though society has made leaps and bounds in providing social awareness about discrimination, there will always come a time that slurs and judgment will come about. Self-awareness is critical in optimizing your Facebook pages as to not deliberately, or accidentally, offend any group of people.
Sports and athletes have gone through trial after the trial when facing the hardships of discrimination from racial slurs, vandalism, and many more relevant acts. These activities have reached sports ambassadors and groups who are now striving to make sports as inclusive as possible. However, this cannot properly be done with the lack of information at hand. Moreover, sports fans are now also entering the fray in controlling discrimination in sports.
Social media giant, Facebook, is one if not the largest platform online where you can find a myriad of information. Whether if you are casually the internet for a news story or article, reading a long line of text will eventually situate you between conflicts on discrimination. Moreover, you will find different ways how discrimination is portrayed online especially in sports. From racial slurring to verbal abuse, here are the common types of discrimination that athletes, fans, and the majority of sports.
Gender equality has been the most talked-about issue when it comes to sports. Not only are women perceived as second to men when it comes to sport, but also endure verbal abuse and stereotyping. Although there are a series of sporting events that feature women athletes like volleyball, football, and basketball, they still face harassment daily. The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport saw that only a small scale, roughly about 4 percent, sports media coverage feature women playing sports.
Although women are more subjected to experiencing discrimination, men are also affected by the same nature. Sports including figure skating and gymnastics are most of the time considered “feminine” in play. Also, boys who participate in the previously mentioned sports are often bullied at school and face verbal abuse from their schoolmates.
Skin color can bring a huge impact when it comes to racial discrimination. Last 2018, there have been 52 accounts of racial discrimination as recorded by the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport in the United States. Wildly known NBA Superstar, LeBron James has also had his fair share of experiencing racism. Last 2017, before his season finals, the athlete has arrived home to see racial slurs all over his house. James’ only response is that riches, fame, and admiration from the people are in no way enough to stop racism in America.
Furthermore, racial discrimination can be less obvious when compared to others. High-profile sports including golf and tennis are often played on paid clubs. This makes minorities unable to play such sports as people of color bring you to a lower form of athlete. Moreover, socio-economic barriers also help contribute to increasing racial discrimination in sports.
Gender difference is one of the heated topics in sports. Discrimination can lead LGBTQ athletes to experience physical abuse, verbal threats, cyberbullying, and exclusion from team social activities. Moreover, these harassments are mostly initiated by spectators, viewers, and opponents. However, what lies behind the game are often most neglected. LGBTQ athletes succumb to racial slurring within their team including teammates and staff. This environment can be degrading for such athletes and can affect their physical and mental fortitude in their upcoming game.
Ousting Sports Discrimination Through Sports
Fighting fire with fire is a known saying to negate the piling of negative issues or effects. Thus having sports as the main catalyst in battling racism can bring about a positive way of thinking. Knowing what you can do as a fan, spectator, teammate, or staff, becomes an intangible solution in tackling discrimination in sports. Moreover, having a different mindset is an essential tool in lowering cases of racism.
Since social media is one of the leading proponents in having discrimination in general, Facebook has made a cohesion with Kick It Out. Kick It Out is football’s well-known and leading anti-discrimination charity. The partnership helped proliferate the Take a Stand movement, an initiative-based campaign that helps spectators and athletes alike to call-out discrimination freely and liberally.
Since football accompanies both genders when it comes to sporting events, discrimination is not far from firing off. Take a Stand campaign, helps fans gather information and become more educated in understanding discrimination. Moreover, the campaign uses social media as its main core, supplementing the needed reporting capabilities for fans to call out discrimination whether online or offline.
Take A Stand Campaign: An Educational Program
The Take A Stand Campaign is currently launched with a new anti-discrimination toolkit. Additionally, the campaign application is easily accessible through an automated messaging service on WhatsApp. Since the campaign mostly revolves around football, users can gather resources and educational content from Kick It Out, The FA, and HOPE not Hate listings. Moreover, this can simply be done by adding 07432 140 310 to the users WhatsApp contacts, and messaging ‘hi’.
Furthermore, the application is not only limited to a reporting application for discrimination but also collaborates with the HOPE Not Hate program. This enables local schools, support groups to gain the needed education to help de-normalize low scale discriminatory language, and promote the initiative for silent spectators to report discrimination freely.
In the foreseeable future, Kick It Out team of developers is also working to prevent discriminatory behavior on other social media platforms including Instagram. Such expansions include comment warning, hiding racial slurs, and abuse. Another social media platform is Twitter who committed to partaking in the Take A Stand Campaign. Additionally, the network will initiate training sessions with several football clubs and local police authorities. This campaign will help mitigate the cases of discrimination in the field of sports and empower athletes to step over the line and finish what they have started, and that is to win.