Tackling racism

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Why on earth did racist chanting at a football match rear its despicable head in Peterhead of all places (your report, 3 March)?

It is perhaps naïve to assume that it could be wiped out in every ground in the land. But that shouldn’t mean that the events surrounding East Stirling player Jordan Tapping on Saturday shouldn’t be investigated with full rigour.

The most disturbing aspect of this is that the player had to be substituted because of the 
upset.

A minority of bigots could take from this that the way to unsettle an opposing team is to unsettle a player on account of his race. That is one reason strong action is needed now to deter them.

Another one is that football simply cannot afford to have supporters staying away from games because of offensive behaviour.

Of course, many experienced football people will draw attention to a simple truth: if you run on to a ground you have to be prepared to have your height, weight, intelligence, integrity, dexterity, possibly even your parentage, all called in to question volubly at some point in the game.

But that essentially good humoured banter should never be confused with racist bawling. A steady approach to outlawing homophobic abuse and language that many women in particular might find offensive should continue.

The lesson of Peterhead is 
that there is still work to be done in making attendance at football matches a civilised 
experience.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court

Glenrothes

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