( 0 )

Nudge Racism Out of The Game

Words by Christian Hurley
Illustration by Matti Vandersee

Nudge behaviour is a concept of changing our actions through positive reinforcement or indirect suggestions. When Antonio Rudiger claimed he’d been abused by Spurs fans late last year, the investigation brought no concrete conclusions. Is it time to change our approach?

After an extensive investigation, Tottenham revealed that the Metropolitan Police were unable to find any evidence to “corroborate or contradict” Rudiger’s claims of racism. Regardless, both Chelsea and Tottenham have clearly communicated their support for Rudiger and despite the lack of evidence, both clubs are keen to encourage players to continue coming forward if they believe they’ve experienced such abuse.

It’s also worth noting that a Chelsea fan was arrested for racially abusing Son at the same game. Sadly, reports of players experiencing racial abuse have increased over the last few years in British (and European) football. 

Why? “It’s a societal problem”, is often the rhetoric you’ll hear from pundits and football lovers. But is this a bit of a cop out? An effort to distance our beloved game from such unsavoury behaviour.

Sure, there are rising tensions all over the planet at the minute. You only need to look on Twitter to see how divided we’ve become. But it does feel as though football stadiums (along with social media) are a safe space to direct hate - be it racism, homophobia, sexism, anti-semitism or any other type of hatred toward others.

When a club with Tottenham’s resources (CCTV, lip readers and TV footage) can’t come to definitive conclusion, it suggests one thing: an opportunity to get away with it.