States Must Address Racist Attacks During Sporting Events–UN Expert

UN New Centre, July 3, 2012

States must pay close attention to early signs of racism that could eventually lead to grave human rights violations, a United Nations independent expert said today, stressing that extremist groups in political movements and, in particular, sports arenas must be tackled.

“The presence of extremist groups, including neo-Nazi and skinhead groups, in sporting events is a matter of serious concern,” the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mutuma Ruteere, said in a report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“Neo-Nazi symbols, slogans and banners displayed during football matches and racist chants against players or supporters of African origin should not be tolerated,” he noted, pointing to recent incidents of violence and racism during the European Union Football Associations’ championships as evidence that racism in sport is a serious problem.

“I call upon States to intensify the fight against racism in sport and to strengthen the role of sports in promoting cultural diversity,” he said. “In particular, in light of the upcoming Olympics it is crucial that further preventive measures be taken to avoid racist incidents during this event which is going to reach out to all regions of the world.”

The Special Rapporteur warned that impunity for crimes motivated by racism, xenophobia and intolerance encourages recurrence of such acts. He called on States to ensure that thorough and impartial investigations into these crimes are promptly carried out, that those responsible are prosecuted, and that victims have effective access to remedies.

Mr. Ruteere also warned of incendiary rhetoric from political parties, noting that the rise in extremist political parties, movements and groups continues to pose major challenges, particularly in the context of the current economic and financial crisis.

“In this context, vulnerable groups have been made the scapegoats for the rise in unemployment and State debt, and labelled a threat to the standard of living of the general population by extremist political parties,” he said.

In addition, Mr. Ruteere expressed particular concern over traditional political parties that have embraced an openly racist, xenophobic and nationalistic rhetoric.

The Human Rights Council is currently holding its 20th regular session, which ends on 6 July. Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

Mutuma Ruteere

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  • Oil Can Harry

    If this racist clown was really offended by political exremists he’d be condemning Robbie Mugabe along with the ANC for seizing land from white farmers while advocating their mass murder.

    Instead he’s upset at lager louts yelling rude comments at soccer games.

  • JohnEngelman

    What about black crime at sporting events?
    Or, am I a racist for even asking that question? 

    •  Yeah those Egyptian soccer riots that killed a bunch of people are NOTHING compared to White people calling black people monkeys!

  • This guy wouldn’t know a Neo-Nazi if one smacked him upside the head.  Maybe this guy should focus on stuff like the ongoing genocide in Rwanda or the slavery in Mauritania, or the ongoing disaster that is Zimbabwe if he is SOOOOOO concerned about black people.  But no, it’s more important to chastise Whites who are NOT killing blacks, merely telling them what they think of them!

  • Spartan24708

    What is this idiot talking about? Unless there is some obscure college out there that does this he is blowing smoke.

  • Bosco

    Racism = Realizing the reality that there are major differences from one race to another.

  • IstvanIN

    In addition, Mr. Ruteere expressed particular concern over traditional political parties that have embraced an openly racist, xenophobic and nationalistic rhetoric.

    Was he refering to Bobby Mugabe?  Glad to see someone address anti-white discrimination.

  • IstvanIN

    Agreed. The Eastern Europeans are desperate to join the EU, which I think is doom. What the Eastern European countries really need is to put their old animosities behind them and join together in a common community, without giving up sovereignty. A NATO type organization for mutual defense and a common market for economic coordination. From the Baltic states to Serbia, from the Czech Republic to Russia, they could work together for their own protection and preservation.

    And hopefully not repeat the mistakes of the EU, UK, US, Australia and Canada, especially as regards mass non-white immigration.

  • Sherman_McCoy

    Got my soccer fan kit ready!  

    Team scarf?  Check!
    Team flag?  Check!
    Bananas to throw at the africans?  CHECK!

  • Sheila Dinehart

    what a very amusing notion

  • Up to my neck in CA

    A UN expert?? What a waste of time and money.