Soccer: Signs of Racism Disappearing

Racism has been an issue across the globe for many years. When racism is demonstrated by professional athletes in their respected sports it’s completely unacceptable. FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is doing a good job in trying to stop racism in that at the beginning of every International and most club games, banners that read "SAY NO TO RACISM" are held by the players and the officials. There is only so much FIFA can actually do to enforce this rule. Players show signs of racism still, but most controversial I think is the fairly recent February 11th confrontation between Liverpool Striker Luis Suarez and Manchester United Defender Patrice Evra. Prior to this event Suarez received an eight match ban for racial abuse against Evra and was fined £40,000. Fabrice Muamba has currently been taking the highlights of newspapers worldwide. The reason for this though is not pleasant. Muamba who is just 23 years of age, experienced cardiac arrest on March 17th in the middle of a quarter-final game where Bolton (who Muamba plays for) played Tottenham. Muamba collapsed to the ground in the 42 minute of the game and would not get back up under his own power. How does this relate to racism though? Muamba who is black and on the visiting team, was shown respect and emotions for by the spectators in attendance whether they were black or white, or for Bolton or Tottenham. Players and Fans were crying in fear that Muamba might have died right before their eyes. According to doctors Muamba actually died for about 78 minutes when his heart stopped beating, but thanks to defibrillators and plenty of rest, Muamba’s heart is able to beat on its own. In the following weeks people from around the globe showed support of Muamba. To name a few, Chelsea Defender Gary Cahill showed his support to Muamba by after scoring a goal against Leicester City revealed from under his jersey a shirt that had the words "PRAY 4 MUAMBA" on it. Famous Spanish club Real Madrid entered their game against Málaga the next day with warmup jerseys that had "GET WELL SOON MUAMBA" written on them. The Twitter community as well added into the support for Muamba with #Pray4Muamba trending on twitter. Again racism found its way towards Muamba in a negative way. Moments after Muamba collapsed, a tweet was sent out that made a lot of people angry. 21-year-old Liam Stacey a student of Swansea University, sent out a racial tweet directed at Muamba. Upon seeing the racial tweet people notified authorities that later led to the arrest of the student. It’s great to see that (for the majority of the time) the world is showing so much support and care towards Muamba in the weeks following his accident. This support could be the optimistic sign for soccer that racism could be a thing of the past. Just remember #Pray4Muamba.