Recent racism towards sporting icons deters BAME fans from attending future sporting events
41% of BAME fans are still hesitant to attend live sporting events, with 42% feeling that black men are misrepresented in UK sport
Vince Macaulay, Head Coach of the one of the UK’s most diverse sports teams, discusses racism in sport and what the team is doing to tackle the issue head on.
Over the past few weeks, we have seen a number of professional athletes across the sporting arena hit the headlines for the barrage of racist abuse they had experienced. From Premier League stars Marcus Rashford and Reece James facing abuse on social media, to the players of the British Basketball League’s Glasgow Rocks being targeted by verbal and physical attacks near their homes, but what impact has this had on the BAME fans?
Overwhelmingly, it has been found that nearly half of UK BAME fans are now fearful and hesitant to get back into the stands of the sports stadiums across the nations due to the risk of racial and verbal abuse, with this figure at 29% among young BAME fans aged 18-24. To add to the issue, 51% of BAME fans aged 18-24 also feel that young, black men are misrepresented in UK sport, further perpetuating the problem.
To better understand the issue, The London Lions have conducted nationally representative research that unveils the prominence of racism in sport today and the role sport plays in the communities across the UK.
– 41% of BAME fans are still hesitant to attend live sporting events due to the risk of racial and verbal abuse, 29% among young BAME fans (18-24)
– 42% of BAME fans feel that black men are misrepresented in UK sport, 51% among young BAME fans (18-24)
– 29% of BAME fans believe that their sporting role models are misrepresented by the media
– 26% of Brits feel most included when within their community and peers when playing sports (8.1million), increasing to 37% in the BAME community
– 30% of Brits believe the ability to play and watch sport has aided their mental health more than any other mental health aid, increasing to 36% in the BAME community
– 21% of Brits feel they would have deviated away from antisocial activities in their youth if they had greater access to sport and community programmes, increasing to 42% in the BAME community
Vince Macaulay, Head Coach of the London Lions, discusses what they are doing to tackle the issue as one of the UK’s most diverse sports teams:
“Racism is still very prevalent within sport, even after such a monumental year in tackling the issue. As an urgent priority the industry needs to stand together to tackle the problem head on and ensure it is eliminated from today’s player and fan experiences. Sporting culture should be defined by diversity and inclusiveness, and events such as these indicate we have a long way to go until this is achieved.
“We at the London Lions have made it our number one goal to see that racism towards our players and fans is stopped. As we look to get out fans back in the stadium this year, it is a priority that we ensure their return is as safe as possible, and we are not just talking about Covid. Fans should feel welcomed and be able to watch their favourite sports team in a safe environment and the fact that many are still hesitant to attend is a major concern.”
Vince Macaulay is also keen to discuss:
- Racism in sport
- What needs to be done to tackle the issue head on
- Ensuring fans feel welcomed and safe when returning to the stands
- What the Lions are doing to promote diversity in sport and wider society
- Implications of the research
- The importance of diversity, equality and inclusion in all sports
- The role activism now plays in sport
- The players experiences with racism