December 28, 2019
Towards the end of last year, former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright said “the bad old days” were back.
2019: A Disgraceful Year Of Racism In Football
He was referring to a video of a supporter appearing to abuse Manchester City player Raheem Sterling in a match against Chelsea.
The next day, Sterling blamed media coverage of young Black footballers for fuelling racism in the UK. He has since continuously called for Football authorities to tackle the problem of racism in the sport.
From a Tottenham fan throwing a banana skin at a Black player to former West Ham director of player recruitment, Tony Henry, discriminating against African players, incidents of racism in football – on and off the pitch – had hit headlines again and again in 2018.
Thought we were on our way to stamping the problem out in 2019? Dream on. View this post on InstagramThe bad old days are back! Chelsea you have been shamed by this disgusting racist fan! Look what he says to Raheem 😢A post shared by Ian Wright (@wrightyofficial) on Dec 8, 2018 at 12:01pm PSTJanuary Mark Sampson, former England women’s coach, apologised to Eni Aluko following allegations he had made racist remarks towards her while in charge of the national team. Later in the year, in the lead-up to the release of her book They Don’t Teach This, she challenged the sport’s authorities to “do way better” in combating racism.
Racist chanting was heard during an FA Cup match between Millwall and Everton FC, prompting anti-discrimination group Kick It Out to condemn the behaviour and call for action to be taken.FebruaryTwo fans were ejected and arrested in response to racist abuse aimed at Brighton defender Gaetan Bong during Burnley’s 3-1 Premier League victory at the Amex stadium in Brighton. MarchEngland pair Callum Hudson-Odoi and Danny Rose said they heard monkey chants from the stands during England’s 5-1 Euro 2020 qualification victory against Montenegro. Manager Gareth Southgate also confirmed hearing the racist abuse.
In response to this, England captain Harry Kane said he would consider leading his players off the field if they were subjected to racial abuse again.Following the furore, Black football fans told HuffPost UK they believed racism would remain a permanent fixture in football. Manchester United supporter Ernie Harriott said: “Racism isn’t going anywhere, any time soon. When I hear about the frequent incidents of racism in football, particularly in the UK, I just think: ‘Here we go again.’ What’s new?”
Sheffield United have terminated the contract of Sophie Jones by mutual agreement after the forward was banned for five matches for racially abusing Tottenham defender Renee Hector.
Hector alleged she “received some monkey noises from an opposition player” during a Women’s Championship game at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Stadium in January, leading to Jones being charged by the Football Association.AprilTwitter has been urged to take action after racially abusive tweets targeting a range of Premier League footballers were found on the site up to five years after being posted.
The Press Association found dozens of historical posts with racist language aimed at Premier League players such as Mohamed Salah, Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling.MayCrystal Palace’s club doctor has said he and his family were racially abused by a young child near Selhurst Park ahead of the match against Bournemouth. The club were quick to condemn the incident and vowed to assist the doctor should he wish to take the “disgraceful” incident further.Meanwhile, the Premier League said it would welcome the opportunity to speak to Raheem Sterling and other players about developing ideas to combat racism.JuneHome Office data revealed that Manchester United supporters had been involved in more football-related arrests where racism was an aggravating factor or a feature than any other club in England in the four seasons up to 2017-18. JulyChelsea permanently banned one supporter from Stamford Bridge for the use of racially abusive language – again towards Raheem Sterling – and threatening and aggressive behaviour during a game with Manchester City in December 2018.
Former England striker Les Ferdinand said racism in the game would not be tackled without more diversity in leadership positions. 
Speaking at the launch of the Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust’s education and mentoring scheme Strike a Change, he said: “When you look at the FA, there’s nobody of colour in a position of power. Until we start addressing that, we’re going to keep having to deal with these incidents because it doesn’t affect the people in power.” AugustThe Andalusian Football Association (RFAF) opened an investigation into allegations of racist abuse directed towards Queen Park Rangers’ under-18 players during a friendly match in Spain. The team walked off the pitch in response to the incident.‼️ Comunicado RFAF:"La RFAF abrirá una investigación del partido Nervión-Queens Park Rangers" El QPR se retiró denunciando actitud racista.👉🏼https://t.co/wf2skVoUDY@rfef; @elCorreoWeb; @radiomarca; @EFEdeportespic.twitter.com/YeYb0QWYpd— RFAF (@RFAF) August 15, 2019September Former England international Paul Parker and Jamaica and Wimbledon ex-striker Marcus Gayle called on white players to take more responsibility for tackling racism.
The pair spoke out at the Labour Party conference in Brighton as racism continued to dominate football news in a manner not seen in decades.
And Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku urged footballers to take a united stance against racist abuse, saying the situation was getting worse, not better. The Belgian star was racially abused by Cagliari fans while playing against his Internazionale side in Italy’s Serie A.In an Instagram post, Lukaku wrote: “Football is a game to be enjoyed by everyone and we shouldn’t accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame.
“I hope the football federations all over world react strongly on all cases of discrimination!” View this post on InstagramA post shared by Romelu Lukaku (@romelulukaku) on Sep 2, 2019 at 5:18am PDTFormer England and Newcastle forward Peter Beardsley was suspended from all football-related activity after being found guilty of making racist comments by an independent regulatory commission.
The 58-year-old, who denied the allegations, left his role as the Magpies’ Under-23s coach earlier this year after an internal investigation and has been banned from the game by the Football Association for 32 weeks until April 2020.OctoberUefa opened disciplinary proceedings against both Bulgaria and England following the Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia. 
The game had to be stopped twice because of racist abuse aimed at the England players by the crowd. Bulgarian fans made Nazi salutes and directed monkey noises at black England players.
This prompted the resignation of president of the Bulgarian Football Union, Borislav Mihaylov, following pressure from Bulgaria’s prime minister Boyko Borissov.
Within days of this happening, Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town football clubs were led off the pitch by their managers in the 64th minute following racist abuse during an FA Cup match. Two men were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault.
It is thought this was the first time a match at such a senior level had been abandoned due to racism.
In the same month, Manchester United ejected a fan from Old Trafford during a Premier League match against Liverpool over alleged racial abuse. Video footage circulated showed a group of Aston Villa’s fans singing about the club’s Zimbabwean midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and one other player, with references to several racial stereotypes. 
Brighton FC handed out “lengthy” bans to three supporters following incidents of racism at the Amex Stadium. Two supporters were ejected from the stadium at an Under-23s game against Tottenham in September and had their details forwarded to Sussex Police for further investigation.NovemberShakhtar Donetsk midfielder Taison was sent off and subsequently banned for one match after reacting to alleged racist abuse during his side’s 1-0 home win against Dynamo Kiev.
Brazil international Taison gestured to the away fans and then kicked the ball into their section of the stand before the referee led all the players off the field in the 77th minute.
Video footage shows Taison and Brazilian team-mate Dentinho leaving the field in tears after both had allegedly been targeted, while they were consoled by several Dynamo Kiev players. #NoToRacismhttps://t.co/j7zz2jmRoMpic.twitter.com/72uMl81Bjr— FC SHAKHTAR ENGLISH (@FCShakhtar_eng) November 10, 2019Meanwhile, Everton investigated an incident of alleged racist behaviour during their Premier League draw against Tottenham.
During a meeting West Bromwich Albion players, Prince William discussed the impact of racism on professional footballers’ mental health as part of the Heads Up campaign. The Duke of Cambridge said he was “fed up” of discrimination in the sport.Welcome, @KensingtonRoyal!The Duke of Cambridge was greeted by Chief Executive Mark Jenkins, Chairman Mr Li Piyue and club captain Chris Brunt. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/JllcAvhrOt— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) November 28, 2019DecemberTottenham Spurs launched an investigation after Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger reported being targeted with monkey chants during the second half of the game at the Tottenham stadium.
This prompted Downing Street to issue a warning to football authorities to step up efforts to tackle racism.
Earlier this month, Italian football league Serie A came under fire for – astonishingly – using three paintings of monkeys to illustrate a campaign to stamp out racism that has been branded as a “sick joke”.
This came after Italian daily Corriere dello Sport was accused of fuelling racism with its bizarre front page headline “Black Friday” alongside pictures of Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku and Roma’s Chris Smalling.
The former Manchester United team-mates were due to go up against each other for their new clubs the following day.
Gloucestershire football club Forest Green have also threatened to take action against a supporter following an incident of racist abuse during their Sky Bet League Two game with Scunthorpe.SEE IT, REPORT IT...https://t.co/gPcFvycCV5#KickitOut@kickitout#WeAreFGRpic.twitter.com/TRI0kFooh9— Forest Green Rovers (@FGRFC_Official) December 6, 2019A video circulated that appeared to show a supporter making a monkey gesture at a player during a match between Manchester City and Manchester United.
The scourge showed no sign of letting up as the year drew to a close. Two Doncaster men were arrested on Boxing Day after racist chanting was reported in the away stand at Peterborough’s Weston Homes Stadium. It happened as the city’s United side played Doncaster Rovers.
Will 2020 be any better? We can hope – but we’re not holding our breath.Related... Pair Arrested Over 'Racist Chanting' At Peterborough United v Doncaster Rovers Match
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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