26 September 2023

New Guidelines to tackle racism in sport

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The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has developed guidelines to help sports act effectively and consistently in responding to incidents of spectator racism and preventing racism from occurring at sporting events.

In a statement, the Commission said the Spectator Racism Guidelines had resulted from consultations hosted by the AHRC with professional sporting codes, clubs, players, venue operators and anti-racism experts.

The AHRC said major professional sports organisations, including those representing Australian football, cricket, rugby league and tennis — and some of the nation’s largest stadiums — had already endorsed the Guidelines, with more expected to sign on.

Race Discrimination Commissioner, Chin Tan said the AHRC spearheaded the development of the Guidelines in response to numerous incidents of spectator racism over the past year.

“Sport holds a unique place in Australian society; it encapsulates our values of equality and fairness and helps us connect to each other, but unfortunately racism in sport remains an ongoing issue,” Commissioner Tan said.

“When racist incidents happen, they can have a long-lasting impact on those affected, and damaging social consequences,” he said.

“There is no place for racism anywhere and that includes sport.”

Commissioner Tan said there was a need for consistent and strong responses to spectator racism across the sporting codes to send a united message that racism would not be tolerated, and there would be serious consequences when it occurred.

“The Guidelines identify actions that can be taken consistently across sporting codes in responding to incidents of spectator racism,” he said.

“This includes proactive measures to prevent racism from occurring and appropriate support for impacted parties when it does occur.”

Commissioner Tan said the AHRC had produced a suite of resources to implement the Guidelines, including templates, policies and communications materials to make clear that racism would not be tolerated.

The AHRC said it was also working on a wider National Anti-Racism Framework to address racism in all areas of society, due for release in 2022.

The five-page Guidelines can be downloaded at this PS News link.

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