This article explores two significant incidents of racism – involving Luis Suárez and John Terry – from the 2011–2012 English Premier League football season. In particular, it analyses and contextualises the reactions and responses articulated by key stakeholders within the football industry. Discursive themes were employed by these individuals as a means of trying to mitigate and/or exonerate the actions of Suárez and Terry, to question the veracity of the allegations made against them, and to downplay the extent and effects of racism in English football more generally. The article situates these standpoints within the wider cultural politics of race in the game and extricates the connections between discourse and structure in manifestations of racism. It demonstrates that these dominant responses are indicative of colour-blind ideology, white racial framing and the rules of racial standing. It also argues that these sporting trends are part of a wider societal shift towards racial neoliberalism.
- colour-blind ideology
- critical race theory
- racial neoliberalism
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- School of Sport and Health Sciences - Reader, Associate Dean Research and Knowledge Ex
- Tourism, Hospitality and Events Research and Enterprise Group
- Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics
- Sport and Leisure Cultures Research and Enterprise Group