Sports Letters: Acting on racism

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The Independent Online
Sir: I read with some dismay your account (19 May) of the pitch invasions at Millwall football ground. BBC 1 set the tone that morning by showing glimpses of Nazi salutes and a black player being chased from the pitch, followed by a photograph of only the white goalkeeper who had been chased - ie, despite their own evidence, no racial incident, all nice and hush-hush.

Your account does mention that Williams and Charles 'had throughout been subjected to racist abuse' but offers the opinion that Derby 'sensibly . . . had taken the precaution near the end of withdrawing their black players'.

The policy should be to remove the racists. Isn't racist abuse at matches an offence? If the BBC heard it, why didn't they alert the police? How do Williams and Charles feel about being whisked off as if they were an inconvenience?

If black players are the subject of racist abuse at matches the BBC should show and condemn this, newspapers should make no bones of it, the police should arrest and remove the offenders.

Yours faithfully,

PHILIP TOWNSHEND

Nottingham

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