Racism? What is it? – Brolly
“I’M NOT prejudiced but if a coon moved in next door, I’d move, like most white people would. If my daughter came home with a nigger, I’d go mad. But I’m only being truthful and normal.” So said Tommy Smith, recently deceased Anfield legend, in an interview with author Dave Hill in 1988.
At the time, black soccer players like Justin Fashanu and Cyril Regis were running the gauntlet. When they took to the field on Saturdays at 3pm, the stands erupted in gorilla chants. Bananas were thrown onto the field.
When West Brom broke new ground by signing Regis, Laurie Cunningham and Brendan Bateson, they were promptly christened The Three Degrees and amended lyrics from the American group’s hits were sung at every ground.
When Regis was selected to play for England, he received a bullet in the post with a note reading: “If you play for us at Wembley, one of these will be shot into your knees, you black b*****d.”
This is racism.
The Armagh County Board last week accusing a Laois player of racism after he repeatedly taunted their captain Ciaran McKeever, branding him a British bastard and shouting God save the Queen in his face. British?
Affordable housing, safe banks, steady employment and a stable infrastructure? On one view, it’s not much of an insult. And it isn’t racism.
The full story can be read in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published March 29. To get your copy, click the subscribe button on this page, or buy one in your local newsagent now!