Make Soccer a Bridge

In an interview posted on CNN.com today, FIFA President Sepp Blatter commented that there is no problem with racism in soccer. You can watch the full video below.

I find Blatter’s comments both ignorant and upsetting.  The sad truth is, racism does still exist, and therefore it is a problem in soccer.  In light of the news cycle today, we should all take a moment to stop and think.

What is the definition of racism?  It reflects a point of view and cultural bias.  Arrogance and ignorance. Unfounded and irrational. Stems from myth and folklore and not knowing or understanding the other.

The world is shrinking and we had better understand that people are all equal and have a basic right to be treated and respected without qualification.

Soccer CAN be a bridge to understanding and knowing the other, if we choose to make it so.  It is its own culture, its own language, and its own community, giving its members a shared identity, a shared background and a shared future.  Soccer has a collectiveness that can help eradicate racism and spread understanding.  If. We. Choose. To. Make. It. So.

As members and stewards of the soccer community, I urge us all to keep this is mind each day as we hit the field, coach, cheer from the sidelines, mentor our youth and grow the beautiful game.  We must be leaders in making it so.

We want to hear from you!  Over at Set Plays, Hillary Beehler asks “how do we turn discussions like this in the news into character-building opportunities for our players”.  What will you say if your player asks you about this news? Join the conversation at Set Plays – or tell us here!

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