A guest post from Yido6061
When the footage of Chelsea fans boasting of their racist entitlement whilst jostling a black man on the Paris Metro emerged a couple of weeks ago, I admittedly fell into the trap set by my own deeply entrenched prejudices. After all, this is the club that continues to be captained by a self-styled ‘leader’ and ‘legend’ who was undeniably caught on camera spitting out equally abhorrent racial slurs towards a fellow professional.
This is the fanbase of a club who have evoked the horrors of the Nazi gas chambers by insidiously hissing at my own club’s supporters over the years. This is the club who cannot observe the poignancy required by a minute’s quiet reflection on the anniversary of ninety-six deaths during a cup semi-final. that’s the problem with prejudice. It is an emotion bereft of reason and when one realises it has taken hold, one must immediately banish it to some dark recess of the brain, sub-categorised ‘The Seventies’. Of course not all Chelsea fans are knuckle-dragging, unevolved goons, posturing and chest-beating themselves into xenophobic frenzy on French public transport.
To resort to the standard defence made by the casual racist, I know a lot of Chelsea fans and have counted many of them as my best friends. Kind of. After all, if it’s good enough for the backtracking squirming of the likes of Dave Whelan and Ron Atkinson, it’s good enough for me.
Those Chelsea supporters are not inherently evil as some have been quick to point out. They are morons. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that the attitudes they foster within themselves are bubbling away beneath the surface of many people throughout this country and however much we like to congratulate ourselves on the work we’ve done to kick these things out in our workplaces, football stadiums, etc, we can’t be so delusional to believe that racism’s insidiousness has been eradicated from all aspects of public life.