Want to witness the worst humanity has to offer? Go watch a sporting event in Europe where the opponents are black.
The sad, harsh truth of the matter is racism is rampant across much of Europe, and when it's mixed with the hyper-passionate support of peoples' favorite teams or national squads, it turns into a volatile mix of ugliness. And the Olympics are no different.
In a games where a Greek triple-jumper and a Swiss soccer player were both banned for separate racist comments, a Lithuanian fan has been arrested for his behavior during a basketball game against Nigeria.
Undercover police infiltrated the crowd and seized the man during the game between Lithuania and Nigeria at the basketball arena in the Olympic Park.
One witness reported hearing monkey chanting from a group of Lithuania supporters.
A female Games Maker who was at the arena said: “There was a whole block of men, they were mostly drunk.
“It seemed to go on for about an hour, the noise they were making was deafening and I definitely heard monkey chants.
It's another sad, inexcusable, and all too common problem at European sporting events. Earlier this year, families of black players on England's national soccer team had said they refused to travel to the Ukraine for fear of abuse or violence.
Want to be truly disgusted? Watch this half hour British documentary on the disgusting fan displays during soccer matches at some stadiums in Europe.
Good luck getting past the first minute without having bile creep up your throat. It's not just Poland and the Ukraine. Racist chants at matches in Italy and Spain brought one player to tears. Even Italy's top sports newspaper portrayed a black player as a giant gorilla climbing Big Ben.
It's a massive problem, and the Olympics are not immune. However, organizers should be commended for a zero-tolerance policy against racism from athletes and fans. Hard-line stances like this are the only way to get the message across that these types of things are not ok.
Sadly, there are too many countries in Europe that haven't moved towards a culture of tolerance. Racism is still a big problem in the United States, but at least the US is building a strong culture where racists acts like this are strongly and rapidly condemned.
A small group of miscreants can give an entire country, or region, a horrible name. You can certainly cherry-pick racist incidents in the U.S. and give the entire country a bad name. But racism at sporting events is entirely too common across Europe. For some reason, when displayed in the context of sport and supporting your home team, it's seen as more acceptable.
But it's much, much worse. Because sports are the great equalizer. The color of your skin doesn't matter in sports. all that matters is your ability. It's a place where the only colors that should matter are the colors of your jerseys. That's just not the case, though, and this latest Olympic incident is another sad reminder of that.
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