Racism and soccer go together like peas and carrots, or like cigarettes and lung cancer. Premier League club Chelsea have struggled with the scourge of racist fans themselves, and they’ve come up with a new plan for how to deal with it: instead of banning bad fans from the stadium, send them to Auschwitz.
Chelsea fans, you may recall, have in recent years been wrapped up in a couple high-profile racist incidents. There was the time a gaggle of Chelsea fans in Paris shoved a black man out of a metro train before chanting “We’re racist, and that’s the way we like it.” Then there was the time one fan of the Blues made gorilla gestures at then-Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck, a black Englishman.
Chelsea’s response in the past when they’ve identified a racist fan has been to ban said fan from the stadium. In search of a more effective and potentially rehabilitative solution, they’ve come up with a new tack involving the infamous Nazi concentration camp in Poland. As Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck put it, from the Guardian:
“In the past we would take them from the crowd and ban them, for up to three years. Now we say: ‘You did something wrong. You have the option. We can ban you or you can spend some time with our diversity officers, understanding what you did wrong.’”
“If you just ban people, you will never change their behaviour,” Buck said. “This policy gives them the chance to realise what they have done, to make them want to behave better.” The Guardian article notes that Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich—a Russian of Jewish descent—has been at the forefront of the new proposal. This idea ... might actually be kind of smart.