Once again Spanish sports fans have lived up to their nasty reputation of being a bunch of racist imbeciles. This time its not football but Formula 1. Yesterday fans blacked up their faces and donned black wigs with the words “hamilton’s family” written on their white t-shirts.
According to the reports in the Independent and Guardian the Spanish motor racing authorities have “condemned the racist taunts” against Hamilton. Condemning their actions is easy, actually doing something practical and meaningful is worth a thousand words of condemnation. Why were the racists not physically removed, banned from ever attending another racing event and even arrested for disturbing the peace since the Spanish do not have any laws against inciting racial hatred. The same goes for racism in Spanish football. We only ever get to hear about the high profile cases such as in the 2004 international game with England and the Spanish national coach who described Thierry Henry as that “black shit“. He was fined a measly 3,000 euros (a day’s salary), and Real Zaragossa were fined 9,000 euros when their fans racially abused Samuel E’to of Barcelona. These three incidents do not in any way reflect the real level of racism in Spanish football and the wider Spanish society. The F1 authorities must ban Spain from holding the two Grand Prix’s due to take place in Barcelona and Valencia then maybe the fans will think twice before hurling racist abuse from the terraces whether in F1 or football or any other sporting event.