Past Events

Does Sport Promote or Challenge Racism? A Discussion

04 July 2012


Does Sport Promote or Challenge Racism? EuroRacism, Cosmopolitanism and Sport with Professor Ben Carrington

Wednesday 4th July, 6.00-8.30pm, Europe House, SW1P 3EU

This event is fully booked.

This talk, led by world leading authority on sports and race Professor Ben Carrington (University of Texas at Austin) and taking place just days after the 2012 European football championships, explores the complex dynamics of racism, national identity and belonging in Europe in the context of sport.

Panel members include:

  • Paul Elliot CBE (Former footballer, Charlton, Chelsea, Pisa, Celtic, Aston Villa, UEFA, Kick it Out, PFA)
  • Tasha Danvers (Olympian 400m hurdler, motivational speaker,Youth Sport Trust 2012 Ambassador, TV presenter)
  • Professor Ben Carrington (Associate professor of Sociology, author and leading international authority on the sociology of race and sports culture)
  • Keme Nzerem (Award winning Channel 4 Sports Reporter, news anchor, sports producer)
  • David Neita (Barrister, author, poet, community advocate, social justice practitioner)
  • Paul Mortimer (Show Racism the Red Card, former Charlton and Crystal Palace footballer)

This seminar, taking place just days after the 2012 European football championships, explores the complex dynamics of racism, national identity and belonging in Europe in the context of sport. In the weeks leading up to Euro 2012, British newspapers and BBC's Panorama ran stories highlighting the high levels of anti-black racism in parts of Europe.  Sol Campbell, the former England captain, criticized UEFA for allowing Poland and the Ukraine to host the tournament given the existence of racism towards black players, going as far as to suggest that black England fans should not risk their lives following the national team.

But the issue of anti-black racism in Europe is not a new phenomenon. It is tied to wider questions concerning national identity and belonging that have become more prominent in public debates, especially in England, with the Royal Jubilee year coinciding with the London Olympic games.

What has been missing in such media debates is an informed analysis of why sport (and particularly football) matters so much to racist actors and nationalist movements in Europe, and what it means to be a black European today.

Professor Ben Carrington will address these issues head-on, providing an analysis that challenges the cosy assumption that sports in Britain are somehow 'free' from racism compared to their European counterparts and will put the recent Euro 2012 tournament and the summer games in historical perspective.

This seminar is organised by Moore Development Consultancy and David Neita Elect with support from The Runnymede Trust, The European Commission and Kick It Out..


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