The 2012 European Championships are currently underway and aside from the outstanding quality of competition in the tournament so far, the other major topic that has dominated the games has been racism. Now the racism issue must be pretty important when you consider that Mario Balotelli is also playing in the tournament, a character who’s every move dominates the headlines of any football tournament or fireworks display he is associated with. As a Manchester City supporter I was very interested to see how Mario Balotelli would perform in the tournament… when I say perform I mean as a footballer rather than a source of bizarre entertainment. His initial statements about how he would deal with the racists in the crowd didn’t so much make me bristle with voyeuristic anticipation, but I did smile with paternal endearment toward the moody little ninnyhammer (I found this word on a website about weird words that have gone out of use and it just seems to suit our Mario perfectly); there’s something about Mario that’s just so loveable. Maybe it’s because he is a little bit dumb – although the lad thinks himself a genius; bless. He reminds me of a boxer – not the sports type but the dog – muscular, taught, narrow limbs, hostile and aggressive in appearance, but really just a sweet little beast. So to read reports of him saying he will kill anyone who throws bananas at him just made me go “Aw”.
Great footballing talent that he is, ‘Super’ Mario is as brittle as a Twiglet on the pitch when challenged with any intent, so it’s hard to see him really getting stuck into some retarded racist thug armed with a banana cosh. Luckily for the banana-wielding primate who launched the fruit missile during the Italy-Croatia game, the offending fruit was removed before Super Mario saw it. Nevertheless, with foot in mouth rather than on the ball, you do have to love the boy ‘genius’ for his own judgement of self-worth. Just check out some of these quotes:
“I think I am a genius, but not a rebel… I have my life, my world, I do what I want, without annoying anyone.” Mario, you annoy everyone – apart from me, I love ya kid.
“I believe I am more intelligent than the average person.” There are millions of school children all over the world who can quite easily manage to put on a bib during sporting sessions that might argue with Mario there, but hey, that doesn’t deter the lad does it as he goes on…
“The talent God gave me is beautiful and wonderful… There are few people with such talent” Ah Mario, he who blows his own trumpet is usually a soloist, but not in Mario’s case because he has a perfect partner in Cristiano Ronaldo, who makes Mario sound like a man on a diet of humble pie. The pair of them should really have their own TV chat show, it would be unique. Each week Ron and Mario would invite famous guests on to talk about… well to talk about them really.
Whilst the oily Christiano Ronaldo makes my skin crawl because of his sincere self-aggrandisement, I don’t mind Mario so much. Not because he plays for Man City but because he reminds me of a spoilt little boy who really doesn’t know what he’s doing wrong and just wants his own way, but can’t understand why he can’t have it. Ronaldo is just a hyper-arrogant cock. In an alternative universe where the status of footballers and circus performers were reversed, Ronaldo would be the equivalent of the Bearded Lady with amazing juggling skills. But this isn’t about the two footballing genius’ that the Lord has been benevolent enough to bestow upon us for our entertainment – Lionel Messi isn’t in this tournament and Diego Maradona has been retired for a long time – this is an examination of racism at Euro 2012.
Racism exists and probably always will. Whilst writers of his-story continue to skew and manipulate facts to favour the victors and proceed to miseducate their youth, and whilst the media continues to proliferate negative stereotypes of their minority audiences, the disease of racism will continue to spread. And it is a disease. True racists are truly mentally disturbed individuals. I could write thousands of words discounting the claims of racists, but if you’ve got any sense, historical knowledge or social education, it really isn’t necessary to elaborate on just how ridiculous racist attitudes are. Great people and great empires have derived from many different countries and cultures. Absolute complete and utter pieces of shit have also been spawned from those same countries and cultures. Probably every nation and creed has bloodied their hands throughout history, but that is just the nature of Man as a species, not any particular colour or creed. Yes, it’s a dippy hippy mantra, but as a people we are but one and the same, albeit with certain physiological and cultural differences. And whilst we all have our own likes, dislikes and prejudices toward certain people and certain parts of cultures, only a truly, ignorant or truly sick, fuck would condemn an entire genus of their own species under some disturbed delusion that they are somehow superior.
Although many have condemned UEFA’s decision to hold the Euro’s in a country that has problems with racism, I personally believe that unless you confront those issues by hosting international events of this magnitude in countries like Poland and Ukraine and therefore shining the international spotlight on them, you are never going to change the ignorant attitudes of the (I hope) minority of people in those countries. Then again I don’t really believe that was UEFA’s intention. UEFA and Platini have clearly illustrated their own ignorance toward racism by the paltry fines they have issued to offending Football Associations’ fans. The media displayed their typical hypocrisy as they rounded on Russian and Croatian fans, but not on the fans of the sublime Spanish team who are the current darlings of world football. But that shouldn’t really surprise anybody as the media could do well to look in its own back yard for banana’s thrown from its own institutions. Like the Mafia, the media doesn’t really take sides, they just support whatever or whoever works for them.
Britain has transformed as a nation over the course of history by opening its arms (albeit tentatively) to people from all over the world. As a result the culture is richer, the people wiser and the cuisine is a hell of lot better. During the civil rights movement in America Rosa Parks got on that bus even though she knew nobody wanted her there, but in doing so she helped to change the future. The dark skinned football fans who went to Euro 2012 whether the racists amongst the Poles, Ukrainians, Spanish, Russians and Croatians wanted them or not, will hopefully help to change the attitudes and the future of those nations too.
So whilst the bigots hoot and howl and wave their arms around and drag their knuckles along the floor and grunt their chants to a worldwide audience, for all intent and purposes they are the ones who are acting like extras from Planet of the Apes – apes that aren’t even intelligent enough to hold onto their own bananas. They’re the ones who, for all their apparent nationalism, are an embarrassment to their own nations. They’re the ones who are condemned by their own football associations. And it’s that public condemnation that is the key to killing racism. Expose it for the dirty little scum stain that it is. Racism is pure ignorance, but if you can’t escape the truth then you can’t remain ignorant. So perhaps it’s fitting that all those nations with the racist fans were knocked out of the tournament, with the exception of Spain. Although truly unfair to the players and the civilised supporters, perhaps karma played its part for the greater good.