Research on fans' views of racism in the A-League

Dear all,

I am an academic at the University of South Australia (my details are included at the beginning of the survey) and I am conducting some research on fans’ views of racism in the A-League. To do so, I have constructed an anonymous survey and it should only take a few minutes of your time to complete:

Completing the survey is voluntary, but I hope you agree it is a topical study and I thank you in advance for your time.

I’m surprised it didn’t include questions about what fans could do.


I did the survey but I think it was a bit of a ‘blunt’ instrument. There are so many different forms that racism can take and how it is expressed. eg there does not seem to be much racism expressed towards Indigenous players - at least in the stands (I don’t follow social media that much). I assume that people in the stands are also very happy to watch and support all the young players from eg South Sudan or the Congo playing in the A League. I have not seen or heard otherwise.
The A league, thankfully, does not seem to attract ongoing hostilities generated in the former Yugoslavia (as was long a problem in the NSL) BUT there is a fair bit of victimhood-based anti-semitism about that at one time was focused on the role of the Lowy family but persists well after their departure.


I’ve experienced racism in public and in the workplace due to my ethnicity (and huge dong). Despite the ridiculous amount of beer being consumed I have never worried about this within our support. We have always taken a good stance on this and LGBTI issues. One of the many reasons we are better than the rest of the league.


Thanks for your comments pietro and for completing the survey.

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Thanks for this jubal1 and for completing the survey. What do you think fans could do? Most fans are reluctant to confront so is it a case of better reporting mechanisms? Interested to hear your thoughts on what fans can do.

Big assumption here. The Cove as a collective has had lots of discussions about this over the years, I’m sure others will have more to add.

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The #1 thing people can do is lose the reluctance to confront, the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. I do understand why individuals may be reluctant to confront offenders one on one, but collective rejection is always an option, most supporters are decent people, the pond scum who think it’s ok to spout racist garbage actually think that the silence of others is tacit acceptance.

I’ve been directly involved in the active support group for Sydney FC for 16 years and one of our first rules was zero tolerance for anything that excluded someone based on who they are (race/sex/religion/sexual orientation etc) and we’ve actively policed that and instilled it in 3-4 generations of leaders and participants.


All of this is a prescient reminder: the offseason is rapidly approaching someone get @forte and @Stewman out to keep us going please.

I look forward to hearing which groups should scare me just prior to the early rounds of the FFA cup.

I’d dare say most racism would be coming from a certain supporter group that works out of North West Sydney. That would be revolving around immature idiots seeing Green St Hooligans and wanting to be cool. Most of that would be anti-Semitic rather than anything else. I’ve never actually experienced or witnessed any racist behavior at games in all my time going. More so homophobic if anything…

Have filled it out. Really can’t think of specific racism at A-League games. Certainly some offensive stuff in other ways but that’s not the remit of this survey.

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Many thanks RoryBunk and anyone else who has completed the survey.

Will complete later on. I recall many years ago chants (not led by the capo) at Berisha calling him a gypsy. Think that’s it.

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Adelaide are huge fans of anti gay comments/chants when we are in town…

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I have probably misremembered but I thought the then-capo was a part of this and subsequently deeply regretted it

The a-league doesn’t seem to have the racism problem of say, AFL.

I’ve never heard a player booed Adam Goodes style and I just don’t think anyone would tolerate it.

But there’s a fair amount of of anti Semitism that eminates from the RBB, just bubbling under the surface. Mainly due to perceived links between the Lowys and Sydney FC and their hatred of their own owner Paul Lederer who they blame for years of bad results. There also used to be a fair amount of anti Semitism from the MV fans years ago when the Lowys used to own a stake in Sydney FC. That seems to have dissipated since Traktovenko took over.

There are also a lot of homophobic insults directed our way whenever we play several teams, WSW, MV, Adelaide. Displaying the Pride flag at derbies at Parramatta is always hilarious, it gets them so angry :sweat_smile:

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I’d say the only real issues have ever revolved around WSW and MV. The other supporter groups are generally well behaved and don’t really have the same police issues that the two mentioned have. I mean there’s never been a black player coming off the field after being booed and we have a handful of openly gay footballers that are happy playing in the a-league.

Completed the survey for you.

Agree with most of the aforementioned comments. Most issues are from small pockets of the Wanderers and Victory supporter bases. Never heard anything nasty from other supporter groups.

There’s been a few allegations of racism stemming from players (i.e. Bosschaart v Berisha, Santalab v Ali Abbas) but nothing like the accusations you see in Europe.

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Not wanting to derail the thread, but this is news to me

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Good point. There may well be gay footballers in the A-League, but I’m not aware of any who are out or open about it.