Racism : Racism And Prejudice

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Racism and prejudice in Australian sport is racism in sport an issue in Australia? After all, Australians of various colour, race and ethnic origin united as one to cheer home Cathy Freeman to gold in the final of the Sydney Olympic Games 400 metres. And in June 2006, an estimated 6.7 million Australians got up between one and three in the morning to watch Australia play Italy in the second round of the FIFA World Cup.1 That translates as one in three men, women and children in the country watching a game formerly known as ‘wogball’ and passionately barracking for a multicultural mix of players, with names such as Aloisi, Grella, Bresciano, Schwartzer and Viduka to name a few. Every week, team-mates and fans alike get out to support Indigenous players and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in national, state and local sporting competitions – be it league, union, netball, hockey, Australian football or basketball. It would seem that sport and sporting events are the ultimate cross-cultural mixing pot in Australia; a place where respect for ability and the camaraderie of teamwork overcomes intolerance and exclusion, and where we cheer on our champions no matter what the colour of their skin or the sound of their surname. Or do we? Research suggests that while racist attitudes have remained strong in Australia over the last 10 years, there has been a considerable reduction in overt racist behaviour, due in part to the development of strong social norms

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