As FIFA shuts down its racism taskforce, Getintothis’ Shaun Ponsonby congratulates them for having “completely fulfilled” their mission.
This is a good week. Just days after more shootings in America, we received the news that it was all over. The suffering, the death, the destruction. That’s right; FIFA have defeated racism.
Back in 2013, Sepp Blatter – a man I vaguely know exists and have heard people talking about a lot without having any remote desire to find out who the fuck he is – started up a taskforce to combat racism in football. Earlier this week, FIFA wrote to members of the task force to say that it has “completely fulfilled its temporary mission” and “is hereby dissolved and no longer in operation.”
Yep, you read that correctly. It has fulfilled its mission completely. So well done, the football. You have done what nobody else in history has been able to do. You have achieved the unachievable. You have defeated racism. Sepp Blatter is therefore better than Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Jesus combined.
How have they done this? Well, according to FIFA themselves, they introduced an anti-discrimination monitoring system at matches, launched a Good Practice Guide, started a team of footballing legends and created a new diversity award.
While a team of footballing legends seems like a completely out of context brain fart, the rest of it shows that footballers are more than morons who can’t string together a coherent sandwich. They really have put the Black Lives Matter movement to shame here. Monitoring? All they had to do was get a few cameras, apparently. If only someone had filmed a few instances of brutality against black citizens once in a while all of this could have been avoided. I, for one, haven’t seen a single instance of this, apart from all of the instances I’ve seen of this replayed on social media again and again and again.
As for diversity awards and the Good Practice Guide, the Black Lives Matter campaigners really have to feel silly about that, especially the latter. How much can it really cost to print off a pamphlet? Surely if they would have known that this would have stamped out racism, they would have stretched for that ream of A4 paper.
The award should have been jumped on too. There must have been someone, somewhere who could have thought of this before. Black people should really have started their own entertainment television network and broadcast their awards on there. Imagine a Black Entertainment Television Awards. You BET your sweet arse that would have worked.
Gone, too, is all the ignorance surrounding matters of race. When no black actors are nominated for Oscars, it won’t be because of systematic prejudice that plagues Hollywood. Nope, it will be because there aren’t any people who aren’t white who were good enough to deserve it. And all that defensive attitude towards the concept of white privilege, by people who take it as a personal insult and can’t be bothered to find out what white privilege actually is? That will be fully justified. Because if racism is gone, so is white privilege.
It’s timely of course. Russia are hosting the 2018 World Cup (according to my Facebook feed, I neither know nor care if this is true), and researchers at the UEFA-affiliated FARE Network logged 92 incidents of discriminatory incidents by Russian fans in and around stadiums in the 2014-15 soccering season. So, having defeated racism once and for all, they dodged a real bullet.
The effects of this announcement rang out immediately. You could see it at the Clinton/Trump debate, for example. When moderator, and bona fide black man, Lester Holt asked about race relations in America, the reaction on Twitter was palpable. “But, Lester,” the world said in unison (you know this, because you did it too). “Didn’t you hear? There is no more racism, you silly sausage!”
And there was Clinton, clearly not getting the memo, answering the question as if this was a complex issue that can only be solved with hard work by everybody. What do you know, Hillary? Football isn’t even a thriving industry in America.
Thank Christ for Trump, just constantly bellowing “LAW AND ORDER!” like an excited NBC executive being asked which cop show franchise was his favourite. This must be the answer, because racism, Hillary, has been solved.
Anyway that’s good, isn’t it? All those years of institutionalised mistreatment of minorities have been completely eradicated by a three year taskforce created by the potentially corrupt President of an organisation designed to facilitate a gang of blokes kicking a clump of leather around grass. If only they thought to do this before World War II. If they would have just created a taskforce to combat the attitudes of the Nazis, that whole, dark chapter in world history could have been easily avoided.
And just look how quickly it was achieved. It was only February last year when some Chelsea fans pushed a black man off the train in Paris, chanting “We’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it.” Those days are well and truly extinct now, lost in the passage of time along with Uptown Funk and Sam Smith. Do you remember them? I know it’s a stretch, but really try to think hard, they were big in early 2015.
I guess I’m a little bitter. I always hoped music would bring about world peace, or at least beauty pageants. It’s not like music didn’t try. Rock & roll did a lot to break down racial barriers, as did record labels like Motown, and then there were the likes of Sly & The Family Stone. Later still, Michael Jackson and Prince crossed over and proved black entertainers could reach the very top of the entertainment industry. But no matter how profund Ebony and Ivory was, it was all to no avail. Clearly music and art just doesn’t have the intelligence of football.
Well done FIFA, and football in general. I expect you to solve the problems of sexism and homophobia by the end of the decade.
*In case it isn’t clear, I am being sarcastic.
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