Racism in Scottish football must be tackled “head on,” a leading charity has claimed.
Scottish football has been shamed by a number of alleged racist incidents over the past week.
Motherwell player Christian Mbulu was racially abused when playing against Hearts at Tynecastle and the Edinburgh club has subsequently banned two fans from the ground.
A Falkirk supporter was also given a warning by police for targeting Bairns striker Dennon Lewis, although there was not enough evidence to prove racist intent.
Then, pictures purporting to show Dundee United left back Jamie Robson in blackface for a fancy dress party were shared on social media.
The Tannadice club has vowed to speak to the player about the incident and leading anti-racist charity Show Racism the Red Card said it is confident the Terrors will deal with Robson’s alleged behaviour appropriately.
Dundee United’s Jamie Robson is obviously getting into trouble for this bit of fancy dress. Some calling for a sacking – unsure whether its that or just a very sharp education the boy needs. pic.twitter.com/bFoZ9p6dpy
— Richard Wilson (@timomouse) December 9, 2018
But the charity is now seeking a meeting with Scottish Government sports minister Joe FitzPatrick over how best to tackle racism in Scotland.
A spokeswoman said: “The use of blackface is an out-of-date practice which is rarely seen these days, demonstrating that public attitudes have long since moved on and that crude caricatures of black people should be considered unacceptable in modern day Britain.
“The practice of blackface has always had the potential to offend, but in the past there was no societal voice for those who would have found it offensive.”
She added: “In 2018, it is the consequences of the practice rather than the intention that is relevant; what does blackface say to people, and young people particularly about the acceptance and normality of different skin colours in society?
“Show Racism the Red Card would argue that these practices caricature and portray or glamorise differences which could lead to discrimination.
“Dundee United FC has always have been really strong supporters of our campaign and we have always had the full support of the club.
“We have visited the club each year to deliver anti-racism work with young people and players from the club have attended to reiterate messages of anti racism. We have confidence in Dundee United as a club to deal with the matter appropriately and we will assist with any education for players if they feel necessary.”
But the charity said it was “saddened” by the number of alleged racist incidents to have occurred at Scottish football grounds in recent days.
She said: “There is no place for racism in Scotland or Scottish Football and we encourage anyone who witnesses racism or experiences racism to tell a steward or call Police Scotland on 101 or report it to the relevant footballing authority.
“Such behaviour has no place in a progressive Scotland. Racist attitudes are often supported by misinformation, therefore education and the opportunity to talk openly and honestly about these issues is needed now more than ever.
“Show Racism the Red Card is actively seeking to meet with Joe Fitzpatrick, minister for public health, sports and wellbeing to discuss how we can work with the Scottish Government and footballing authorities to tackle racism head on within the game.”