Allow me to begin with two confessions, one will appear to some as benign. The other may be positively earth shattering. I am a Liverpool fan. Some Liverpool fans are racist.
The shameful scenes from Paris of a handful of Chelsea fans bullying, and racially harassing a black man on the Metro will do little to soothe the caustic image of British football in the eyes of the world. Many have already issued sweeping, and unfair generalisations about Chelsea Football Club, and indeed our nation in general on the back of this moronic episode of meat headed tribalism. So why did I begin with my two confessions? Well, the fact of the matter is that there are morons, bigots, and racists who walk amongst every group, be it a group based upon religion, nationality, football club, or political persuasion. Those who condemn Chelsea Football Club in its entirety are showing themselves up as being equals of that small but toxic band of cowards who hid behind a gang mentality on a tube train.
The facts do not bear out the claim that Chelsea are a racist club. A very large proportion of their team hails from the African continent, Europe and elsewhere. I personally know Chelsea fans of non-white ethnicity. Never once have they talked of being racially abused at Stamford Bridge. Fleeced on the price of a ticket? Definitely. Robbed blind at the Food stands? Without fail. But racially hounded? Never.
The fact of the matter is that the media love to dine on the same meals; Union goes on strike, Football fans engage in violence, Benefit Claimants cheat the system, etc. I do not, for a split second, condone the actions of these idiots in Paris. They need to be hunted down, and they need to be banned from the sport. Racism is an abhorrent and cancerous prejudice which needs to be stamped on quickly and harshly. But whilst I am emphatic in my belief that these thugs should be removed from football, I am firm in my defence of Chelsea as a whole (something I never dreamed I would ever type!) because I am certain that the overwhelming majority of their fans are as angry and disgusted as the British public, and the wider world are in general.
Liverpool fans have suffered massive injustices of a long period of time due to mass media hyperbole, and the seizing upon falsehoods by those who despise the club and its proud history. This was due to political axe-grinding, and the thirst for newspaper sales at all costs, in addition to the jealousy of those forced to endure a period of domination that is now, very sadly, a distant memory for us Liverpool supporters. I have my views on Chelsea in a footballing context, but they are irrelevant to this issue, and I can say that I for one could not willingly sit back and engage in the same type of lazy generalisation, and tribal ham fistedness that not only sullied my team for more than a generation, but also drove those idiots in Paris to hatefully push a perfect stranger away from the doors of a packed train. The media, along with society as a whole needs to grow up, wake up, and act its age. Racism is out there. We have to deal with it, and can only do so by reacting firmly, and making an example of the morons who insist on sustaining its wilting flame. Racism is based on insecurity and false generalisations. What people fail to realise is that by condemning an entire football club, we are making the same mistakes as the racists we all rightfully vilify.