Football Club Players Wear “No Racism” Shirts During Game

December 26, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. racism (n.) [rey-siz-uh m] – violent or unfair treatment of someone because of their race
Example: Tiger Woods fought hard against racism when he first started playing golf at the age of 14.

2. distance (v.) [dis-tuh ns] – to show that one has no relationship or connection to another/ others; to stop supporting someone or something
Example: Nike distanced itself from American cyclist Lance Armstrong who is accused of using drugs.

3. stabbing (n.) [stab-ing] – the act of cutting or hurting someone with a pointed object, such as a knife
Example: The thief stabbed the man and ran away with the stolen money.

4. suspect (n.) [suh-spektsuhs-pekt] – a person who is believed to have done a crime or some wrong thing
Example:  Police questioned the suspect about the details of the crime.

5. sympathies (n.) [sim-puh-thee] – feelings of support and sadness for someone else’s poor/bad situation.
Example: The president offered his sympathies to the victims of the flood.

Read the text below.

During a recent match against Italian football team Udinese, Italy’s Lazio football club players wore jerseys with the words “No Racism” printed in large white letters. Wearing the shirts was Lazio’s way of distancing itself from news about acts of racism done by fans.

Last November, Italian Lazio fans were said to be involved in the stabbing of Tottenham Hotspurs (Spurs) fans. The Spurs, a football club from England, are known to have a large number of Jewish supporters.

Ten British fans of the Spurs were drinking at a bar in Rome when about 40 men attacked them, reportedly shouting anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish words. The attack left one Spurs fan with life-threatening stab wounds on the head and neck.

Police arrested two suspects who were reported by media to be Lazio fans, leading some people to believe the Lazio club itself encouraged the attack.

The stabbing was not the first racism scandal involving Lazio. Last September, the UEFA (Union of European Associations) ordered the Lazio football club to pay a fine after its fans shouted racist words during Lazio’s match against the Spurs.

Lazio president Claudio Lotito visited one of the victims of the stabbing to offer his sympathies. Lotito insists that the stabbing incident had nothing to do with the club.

Lotito says Lazio and many of its fans are against racism. The team hopes their wearing of the “No Racism” jerseys expressed how the club truly feels about the issue. They hope their message can also discourage fans from committing acts of racism.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor

Discussion A

·         Should athletes be responsible for the actions of their fans? Please explain your answer.
·         Do you think violence and hate are natural to sports? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Can you give me examples of forms of racism that you have seen or read about? What happened?
·         How can we prevent violence or hatred toward people of other cultures?


December 26, 2012