Over the course of the past months, incidents of racism in football have reached a shocking number. Players have been racially abused for missing penalties and delivering poor performances.
This was first seen in the Premier League when Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham failed to score from the spot. A similar treatment was levied unto Reading’s Yakou Meite when he missed a penalty.
Global media took a bigger notice when Paul Pogba was abused on social media after missing a penalty against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The week following that, his Manchester United teammate Marcus Rashford likewise failed to score in a game against Crystal Palace and was the subject of similar treatment.
These instances were largely condemned by the authorities and the larger football community across the globe.
However, another incident has come up wherein Romelu Lukaku was racially abused when Inter Milan recently played against Cagliari. The chants in question came from the Cagliari fans as the Belgian striker netted the winning goal in the 2-1 fixture.
This is at the back of another weekend encounter in the Premier League where Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma was attacked for scoring an own-goal against Sheffield United.
Lukaku posted the following strongly worded message on Instagram as a result of the incident:
This aptly captures the reality of the situation and puts the entire affair into a strong light.
Football has always been partisan in nature, as is evident of any club-sport. However, bringing a person’s race into the assessment of their performance and then abusing them for it are the sort of acts that are simply unacceptable.
Such instances are awful and ought to be brought to the limelight and action must be taken. At the same time, they shouldn’t color the broader outlook of a community that is amongst the strongest on the globe.