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January 8, 2012 4:00 pm

English Football, a Foul Smell?

avatar by Tony Rebuck

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Lokomotive Leipzig fans before their team's encounter with Dynamo Schwerin in the FDGB-Pokal in 1990. Photo: Ralf Patzold.

Over 60 years ago, at the time Jackie Robinson was breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, his teammate Pee Wee Reese famously said: “You can hate a man for many reasons. Color isn’t one of them”.

But it seems that for some ghastly people, color is a perfectly legitimate reason. This week, a 20 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of abusing Tom Adeymi during a soccer match between Oldham and Liverpool at the world renowned Anfield stadium. Don’t worry old chap, you are in ‘good’ company, the world has lots of racists apart from you!

Racism in sports is a problem which is seen all around the world and not just in soccer. In Nagpur, India, 40,000 fans threw racist taunts at Andrew Symonds; and that was only a cricket match, for heaven’s sake!

The broadcaster Kelly Tighman was suspended from the Golf Channel after ‘joking’ that Tiger Woods should be lynched in a back alley.

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In Australia, Anthony Mundine became so bitter about racist taunts in Rugby League that he quit the sport and took up boxing.

Don Imus, the talk show host for CBS was suspended for calling a Women’s National Basketball team ‘nappy headed hos’.

In Belgium, Oguchi Onyewu was abused and even punched by fans that referred to him and some of his teammates as a ‘dirty apes’. Similar racist incidents, based on the color of the athletes’ skin, have been reported recently from France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Mexico, Argentina and even Scotland.

Well, what can you expect from a bunch of uncivilized sports fans, eh? Such prejudice and hatred couldn’t possibly exist in polite, intellectually elite society could it?

Henning Mankell is one of the world’s best-selling authors. His books have sold  over 40 million copies and have been translated into more than 40 languages. He is a Swedish crime writer as well as children’s author and creator of the literary character, Inspector Kurt Wallender.  Menkell was on board one of the boats which took part in the flotilla which tried to break the Israeli embargo of the Gaza strip. He is ‘a protester’ and has every right to be, but now he has gone too far. He is calling for global sanctions against Israel and believe it or not, halting the Hebrew translation of his books. This action in my opinion should be abhorrent to most civilized people.

When God breathed life into Adam, he did it through his nose. The nose connects directly to the brain through the first cranial nerve, the olfactory nerve or nerve of smell. The sense of smell can enhance so many aspects of our lives, but these people simply stink and they all offend me!

Tony Rebuck is a physician, teacher and medical researcher. He recently published two books:”A Doctor’s Torah Thoughts  from Singapore and “A Sportsman’s Guide to the Torah” under the name Shlomo ben Yitzhak HaLevi, both available from amazon.com

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