Express & Star comment: Wolves fans' courage to tackle racism
Racism has absolutely no place in our society.
And although people are generally more tolerant now than they were in days gone by, the fact that we still hear about episodes of racist abuse is cause for great concern.
With that in mind, the actions of Mark Richards and other Wolves fans in the South Bank on Monday night deserve our respect.
Faced with a fellow supporter spouting vile racist abuse, they called him out, eventually forcing him to leave the ground – presumably in shame – long before the final whistle.
The club also deserves praise for their response.
After Mr Richards reported the fan's behaviour to club officials via Twitter, managing director Laurie Dalrymple replied, saying the club are confident they have identified the individual in question and would be responding in the strongest possible terms.
The only way we can stamp this sort of behaviour out is by taking a collective responsibility when it comes to dealing with it.
While this racist fan's actions will undoubtedly have intimidated many of those around him, the fact is that if nobody had taken action, then the individual would have got away with it.
Sadly, we have seen a number of incidents involving racist abuse in football grounds over the last season.
In the last few weeks alone, a Chelsea fan was banned for three years for using homophobic abuse at Brighton, while Millwall's FA Cup win over Everton was marred by racist chanting.
In a recent televised game a West Ham fan was seen shouting Islamophobic abuse at Liverpool's Mo Salah. These episodes are nothing short of shameful.
The growing list of racist attacks has sparked concerns that the issue is rearing its ugly head once again. There is no doubt that in some stadiums around the country, racism is a long-standing problem.
The truth is that racism will always be a scourge on the beautiful game unless there is decisive action against those who perpetuate it.
That means a serious commitment from the Government to ensure that tackling racism involves more than just well-meaning words.
In this instance, hopefully Wolves will identify the culprit and serve him with a well-deserved ban.
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