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Tackling Racial Abuse at Sporting Events

Best Practice Guide

Incident of fan abuse at 2021 Sydney Test

An eagerly anticipated contest between cricket powerhouses, Australia and India, was marred by allegations of racism and fan abuse. Indian team bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj complained that they heard fans utter racial slurs. The complaint, lodged officially by the Indian team, precipitated a temporary stoppage in play; the presumed offenders were escorted out of the stadium and held for questioning.

A subsequent investigation by Cricket Australia (CA) would later confirm that Indian team members had indeed been subject to racial abuse by fans at the venue. The fans held for questioning, however, would be cleared of wrongdoing. Nor would the next day of play go off without incident. An Indian cricket supporter accused security personnel at the grounds of racial profiling and fellow spectators of racial abuse. The complainant has since sat down with venue operators to discuss the incident.

The events have generated widespread international press coverage. In their aftermath, both the International Cricket Council (ICC) and CA have put out statements denouncing hate.

To many, the incidents fit into a larger pattern of racial abuse in international sports. So, what does the data suggest?

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