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Sports serving as a weekly reminder that racism is thriving

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It’s easy to disregard and move past Sloane Stephens’ comments about the worsening racial abuse that’s directed her way on social media. Sports and racism go hand-in-hand, with a new story of prejudice seemingly weekly. The world’s never short on assholes, and this is basically a reminder to not be an asshole.

Whether it’s a Black tennis player getting harassed on Instagram, or soccer scum fans hanging an effigy of Vinícius Jr. off a bridge, the abuse persists despite anti-racism product placement by sports’ governing bodies.

“It has never stopped. If anything, it’s only gotten worse,” Stephens said Monday at the French Open.

Listen to how matter-of-fact she is about bias and hatred being a part of her life.

“I think that, like I said, it’s only continued to get worse and people online have the free rein to say and do whatever they want behind fake pages, which is obviously very troublesome.

“But, yeah, it’s something I have had to deal with my whole career and something I will continue to deal with, I’m sure. That’s that.”

There was a period right before the internet when I, too, thought that the war on racism was over, and the bigots lost. I also was 10, and incredibly isolated in suburbia, so naivete played a huge role in that perception.

Racism = not good

It’s honestly shocking that I have to say that at all. Like roaches flocking to a dirty kitchen, racists have discovered a breeding ground on the internet and are multiplying at an alarming rate. It’s not just old hate coming to light; it’s normalizing these views, and corrupting impressionable fans who need a scapegoat for their lost player prop.

You know how much pearl-clutching Stephens’ comments would’ve incited 10 years ago? So much.

Now, we simply shake it off, chastise any detractors for not accepting reality, and then assure Black people that racism is all in their minds. Usually, it’s hard for people to talk out of both sides of their mouth, yet the internet streamlined that duality.

The idea of Twitter muscles was accepted because we thought anonymity would keep bigotry at bay. Well, it’s had the opposite effect and has empowered the sleaziest segments of the population to be sleazy out in the open.

There are a couple of areas of life that are worse than others — sports and video games — and I’d like say that I have no idea why that is, but the toxicity is impossible to ignore. No one likes taking an L, so they say the nastiest shit imaginable to feel better about themselves.

Are sore losers the reason why racism has skyrocketed? Maybe. I’m not qualified to make that claim, and am still iffy on the whole causation-correlation thing, so I’ll let someone else bunk that theory.

Until then, remember, users of internet, racism is bad. 



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