‘Bigger than football’: Racist talk on and off the soccer pitch

Authors

CHOVANEC Jan

Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Soccer and Society
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Web Link to full text
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2023.2250660
Keywords football; sports discourse; pragmatics; sociolinguistics; racism; online žurnalistika; online komentáře
Attached files
Description Racism is a major social and cultural problem that has, in various forms, plagued football for a long time. Despite the attempts of official bodies to root it out, racist talk and behaviour are still rife among players as well as in fan communities. The present paper provides a case study of online users’ comments on the media coverage of a series of controversial incidents during a recent UEFA Europa League matchinvolving an alleged verbal act of racial abuse between two players. Adopting a discourse analytical perspective, the paper contrasts how the match controversies were reflected in the users’ public online discourses in two different cultural communities, namely the UK and the Czech Republic, and identifies some of the similarities and differences between the two. The analysis shows how the users reframe the underlying racist issue, trivialize it through humour and relativize its seriousness. The data indicate that such discourses surrounding football are important for understanding how fans construct various group identities and how specific socio-cultural contexts influence the perception of race-related controversies.
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