Australia issues guidelines on tackling spectator racism in stadiums - Metro US

Australia issues guidelines on tackling spectator racism in stadiums

Second One Day International - Australia v India

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s human rights watchdog has recommended the appointment of game-day integrity officers to respond to reports of racial abuse by sports fans as part of new guidelines to stamp out racism in stadium crowds.

The Australian Human Rights Commission guidelines were endorsed by a number of stadium management companies and sports federations, including the national governing bodies for tennis, cricket, rugby league and Australian Rules football.

“We need consistent and strong responses to spectator racism across the sporting codes to send a united message that racism will not be tolerated, and that there will be serious consequences when it occurs,” AHRC’s Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan said in a statement on Wednesday.

The guidelines include setting up mechanisms to allow fans to report racial abuse by text message and training staff at stadiums in de-escalation techniques.

Australian sports have worked hard to stamp out racism on the field but athletes regularly complain of abuse from fans in the terraces.

Players on India’s cricket team reported being targeted by racial taunts from fans at the Sydney Cricket Ground during the third test against Australia in January.

A Cricket Australia investigation confirmed the players were racially vilified but was unable to identify the perpetrators.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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