Racism in Soccer, can the MLS benefit from European ignorance?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by Bird1812, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. Uberwill

    Uberwill New Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    An important thing to remember about NFL Coaches, and coaches in general here in the US, is that many start out as high school then college coaches before getting a chance to manage or even work for a pro team.

    Take, for example, Bruce Arena. I would wiki it up to back up my facts, but China (here for the semester) has something against it. So feel free to call bullshit on any of this. If I remember correctly, Arena started out as a NYC highschool coach, moved to coaching at the college level then was hired by DC United before becoming the MNT coach. Looking at the coaches around the MLS, the Americans at least, that seams to be the most common career trajectory.

    So coaching comparisons with the US are not always helpful when it seems so many European Coaches come from the players ranks.

    Next point.

    A while back, on page two or so, someone pointed out that while there may still be some racism in stadiums in some spots in Europe, it had decreased drasticly over the years. They said it in a manner that seemed to imply this fact made everything ok.

    In responce I would like to put down a conversation I had with some of the students I teach here in China.

    One girl asked me, "Why do Americans say that China does not have much Civil Rights?"

    I told her about the high standard that many Americans idealize and enumerated some differences between China and America (ie. in the US you can't get arrested because the government thinks you might protest a government metting taking place next week, whereas in China... you can).

    Her responce to this was, "Well, its much better than it was twenty years ago." And from the way she said it, I could tell she though that the state of civil rights in China was just fine.

    It seems to me that the responces are similar in both cases here.

    Yeah, progress has been made... so what? There is still a problem. A visible one.

    I know that civil rights in the US are being s*** on. And I know that rcism exists here as well. That does not change the fact that many places in Europe have a serious problem.

    God I hope all that makes sense. Oh well, proofreading is for the weak.
     
  2. Uberwill

    Uberwill New Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Almost forgot... Foreign coaches in the MLS...

    Yes, very few seem to have had previous experience, but remember the MLS is still developing and the predominent view is that people from other countries are by default better managers, regardless of prior experience.

    Now, as there are more and more viable alums of the MLS is when we will start to see if the trend of immediatly hiring players as managers becomes common in the US or if the old way of working up through the different levels sticks around. For a league that is 12 years old and only has 13 teams, it is hard to get a good idea of where future coaches will be coming from.
     
  3. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Berkshire
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Many places in europe do have a serious problem. At Reading we have a (black) player on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow, and he's said he never wants to return to Moscow because living there scares him.


    I think there's often a perception that countries in Europe are kind of like states in the US, with differences, but still roughly similar attitudes and societies common to them. That just isn't the case. Cultural diversity, in US terms, nearly always seems synonymous with ethnic diversity, and the impression is that a lack of ethnic diversity in Europe means that Europe has no cultural diversity. The upshot is that say Europe has a serious racism problem is about as specific as saying the northern hemisphere has a serious racism problem.
     
  4. IlliniOnFire

    IlliniOnFire Hostile AND Abusive

    Oct 8, 2006
    Southern Illinois
    I know people from my school that went to an Espanyol, game and the minority students in the group got beaten up by neo-nazi's who, amongst other things, were waving the Confederate Battle Flag.
     
  5. former baller

    former baller New Member

    Mar 10, 2002
    You may be aware the USA has had a difficult history with treating all races and other persons equally! The governemt enacted certain classes designated as minority for certain governmental control and business practices. Mostly in an effort to try to help or assists these classes of people to get opportunity that were previously not presented to them equally. For example women owned businesses, African or Hispanic, native/Indian American, Asian owned businesses were designated as minority owned business. To help avoid discrimination in the awarding of govrnment contracts, bank loans, housing and other public descrimination practices the government started to provide incentives to help improve the flow of equal opporutnities and more equal treatment towards these groups. This was considered necessary because of the overwhelming social mentality of discrimination that was bread in the nation for hundreds of years. That history traditionally left these "minority" women owned & nonwhite owned businesses outside of many opportunities. The word minority then survived and has seemingly always been used to represent non-white or non-majority populations in the USA.

    It is obvious that the majority population of the country are white persons. The minority populations now also includes others such as handicaped persons, homosexuals in some cases, etc.

    However it should be noted that just being a foriegnor in the USA does not make you a minority. Caucasion persons from for example Germany, Canada, Australia, Briton and many other nations are not considered minorities. The long lasting discrimination in the USA was predominantly based against on non-white skin color.

    Minority - .
     
  6. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    Bullshit.

    You said to call it on you if it was merited, and it is.

    A) Bruce Arena never coached HS soccer. His first job as a soccer coach was in Washington State at the the University of Puget Sound. He coached them while he was playing ASL ball for the Tacoma Tides.

    From Puget Sound he returned to Cornell to be an assistant then went to UVa as head soccer coach and assistant lacrosse coach.

    B) Show me the MLS coaches that coached HS soccer? Peter Nowak, as we all know, had no previous coaching experience when he was hired at DCU.

    Tom Soehn went from being an MLS player to MLS assistant to now being DCU's head coach.

    Fernando Clavijo went from being a pro to being an indoor head coach to an MLS assistant to MLS head coach then national team head coach w/ Haiti and then back to being an MLS head coach again w/ Colorado.

    Curt Onalfo went from being an MLS player to MLS and then national team assistant to being MLS head coach with KC.

    Preki went from being an MLS player to MLS assistant to head coach with Chivas USA. Same with Steve Morrow in Dallas. Mo Johnston followed a similar path. Steve Nicol went from playing in England to be a player/coach in the A-League to being an MLS assistant to being NE's head coach. Frank Yallop and Dom Kinnear went from being MLS players to assistants to head coaches.

    Sigi Schmid went from being a college player to college assistant to college head coach to MLS head coach. Dave Sarachan went from being an NASL and MISL player to being a college assistant to college head coach to MLS assistant coach to national team assistant coach to head coach of the Fire.

    The ONLY current MLS head coach to have coached HS ball is John Ellinger, who did that before coaching JuCo ball in Maryland then being a college head coach and youth coach then an MLS assistant, back to coaching a youth club then being a YNT head coach then getting the gig in Utah.

    If you look at the MLS coaches, coaching in HS is NOT a stepping stone towards joining their ranks.

    The best thing to do to become an MLS head coach is be an MLS assistant. Currently, Schmid and Arena are the only MLS head coaches who weren't previously MLS assistants and in lieu of that, they brought great collegiate head coaching success.

    But clearly, being an MLS assistant is the track you need to be on to become an MLS head coach. And currently, there is only ONE black MLS assistant coach, Denis Hamlett of Chicago. And, he's been an assistant in MLS longer than ALL of the head coaches in MLS were assistants and he's applied for many MLS head coaching jobs and been passed over in favor of guys with less experience as an MLS assistant.

    But here, there's no problem with black coaches in MLS, is there?
     
  7. shawn8

    shawn8 New Member

    Feb 19, 2007
    Akron,OH
    "out of curiosity, how many head coaches in the NFL are black? From a casual look, it looks like 80-90% of the players are (except at quarterback for some reason), so is the management representative?"

    Off of the top of my head there are 6, but there could be more. The break down of white and black in the nfl is i believe 60 to 65% black and the rest being white. I read that before the season started, but i couldn't cite a reference for you. It is not representitve, but with the initiatives they have put in place it is becoming more representative as time goes on.

    EDIT: those percentages are the ones shown on wikipedia for the nfl, so they are probably correct. There were also 2 more minority coaches last season, but they have since been fired.

    "How about MLS?"

    I don't believe that there are any minority head coaches in the MLS, at least what americans think of as minority. Part of the reason for this is that soccer was primarily played in the white suburbs for the past few decades and has only recently been played more in more in urban areas. From this you are seeing more balck players and as they grow older you will see more of them probably become coaches.
     
  8. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    Having been born in South America, Fernando Clavijo would likely count as a minority.

    But in terms of black coaches or assistants, especially compared to the black players - especially all the higher profile ones in MLS and American soccer - MLS is woefully behind and it's coaches don't come anywhere close to mirroring the player pool.
     
  9. shawn8

    shawn8 New Member

    Feb 19, 2007
    Akron,OH

    I agree completely and believe that will change somewhat in the next decade due to those players going through the ranks of the mls. but that is just my opinion.
     
  10. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    Jimmy Banks, Roy Lassiter, Robin Fraser, Phillip Gyau, Desmond Armstrong, Francis Okaroh, Yari Allnutt, Jear Harbor, Abdul Thompson Coteh, Eric Dade, Ben Iroha, Wolde Harris, Dante Washington, David Nakhid, Manny Motajo, Matt Okoh, Clint Peay, Musa Shannon.

    All those guys played in MLS for a good while and/or were US internationals. And yet none of them are MLS assistants. Yes, there are reasons for some of them not being so. (Fraser, for instance, turned down a chance to be a Houston assistant.)

    But while there will be a lot more ex-black players in the future who could become coaches, it's not like there aren't any now.
     
  11. former baller

    former baller New Member

    Mar 10, 2002
    Exactly!!! don't believe any of the crap stories or excuses offered for why blacks are not hired. The proof is in the results not in the excuses. Americans socialize largely based upon race. Life is largely a social experience. That inherited social behavior you can see reflected in MLS hiring practices.

    I Played with/against some of the players you mentioned: Jimmy Banks, Roy Lassiter, Robin Fraser, Phillip Gyau, Desmond Armstrong, Jear Harbor, Musa Shannon. NO MLS jobs! At the same time we also played with Steve Trittschu COLORADO RAPIDS ASST, Tom Soehn DC UNITED ASST & HEAD COACH, Jeff Agoos NY RED BULLS DIRECTOR, John Harkes ?, Alexi Lalas LA GALAXY PRESIDENT,... probably a lot more drawing an MLS paycheck, all of whom are caucasion and benefiting from not being black.

    There are people that can be easily fooled but the proof is in the results! Not in the excuses. The next trick is to hire one or two non caucasions and then use them as the measure of equal opportunity. Once again, it is correct that the cuacasion players need and deserve MLS jobs also, but they don't seem to be having any problem getting them.

    MLS has a chance to make a notable global impact in their hiring. An opportunity to be an example to the rest of the world. Here MLS can give a stage to some managers and coaches not otherwise being given opportunities. Players left out of coaching consideration and eager to prove themselves, those that some would argue are simply over looked because of race.
     
  12. Uberwill

    Uberwill New Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    There are certainly a number of different places in Europe. That is true. But in my experience, these days it is precisely a lack of diversity that leads to racism.

    There are many attitudes left over from previous times when racism was an accepted and encouraged attitude, which certainly do not help. However, I beleive that they are not at the root of many racist problems throughout the world.

    On the contrary, I think that there is tension whenever two commmunities do not attempt to mix together and understand the ideas and values of other cultures.

    Among many people I have spoken to who live in homogenious communities, whether here in asia or back in the US, they rarely can tell the difference between two people of whatever minority they have little interaction with, which leads to stereotyping which is itself racist thought. Being a priviliged white male I had not experienced such things until I came over here.

    While cultural diversity isnt limited to ethnic diversity, I believe that ethnic diversity is a large part of building cultural diversity.

    EDIT: Also, I guess I was wrong about the whole coaches thing. Thats what happens when I can't get me some wikipedia.
     
  13. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    Exactly. I don't think it is deliberate and intended racism on the part of anyone in MLS. But look at the recent assistant coach hires.

    Tom Soehn hires a medicore college coach who played one season in MLS but who goes back a long way with Soehn to when they played minor league ball together.

    Preki, a Yugoslavian ex-indoor player who lived in KC, hires a Yugoslavian ex-indoor player living in KC who never played or coached in MLS and who hasn't played outdoor soccer professionally since the 80's.

    Fernando Clavijo, born in Uruguay, hires a Uruguayan assistant with no previous experience in MLS as a player or coach.

    Bruce Arena hires Jeff Agoos, who played for Arena at UVa, DCU and the national team, to be technical director even though he has ZERO experience outside of being a player.

    Curt Onalfo hires Chris Henderson, a former teammate of his from the youth national teams with no previous coaching experience, and Kris Kelderman, an MLS journeyman who was his college teammate who was woring a college assistant.

    Coaches are hiring folks they know and are familiar with. Unfortunately, they are hiring people like them and they don't appear to be chummy enough with any black players to hire them. This is the root of the problem.

    I have no qualms with Henderson as a coach. His pedigree has earned the right to go straight into coaching. Same with Agoos. But why is it that white players seem able to go straight into coaching or management but not black ones?

    Well, they have hired one - count 'em, ONE - black assistant and as mentioned before, despite being the longest-serving MLS assistant coach, he's been repeatedly passed over for head coaching jobs. When you're the only black assistant coach and you keep getting passed over for head coaching jobs, it damn sure raises an eyebrow and implies there's a problem.

    This is definitely an area that MLS could be a world-wide leader in.

    A couple of years ago, the Charleston Battery had a black, English head coach who had formerly coached the England U20 national team. He led the Battery to the A-League title. But did his background get him any interest in MLS? Not even an interview.

    This is definitely not a problem that is unique only to MLS. Hell, even in the US black head coaches are vastly under-represented in the USL (currently no black head coaches, though California's head coach seems to be bi-racial, and only a couple of black assistants), and college ball, where only 8 of 200 D-I head coaches are black.

    And worldwide it's a problem as there are currently no black head coaches in the EPL, Germany or Italy. However, the coach of the reigning Champions League and Spanish La Liga is coached by a black man but that doesn't appear to be opening more doors for blacks.

    But things should be differnet in America and this is an area where MLS could be a world-wide leader and set an example and give chances to black coaches. But instead they've allowed cronyism to rule the day and black coaches are as excluded in MLS as they are in Europe and it might even be worse here than there.
     
  14. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    Don't sweat it, mistakes happen to the best of us.
     
  15. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Berkshire
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I wouldn't disagree there, except to say that it's the initial waves of immigration that provoke the most reaction. People who are used to everyone "being like them" feel threatened by immigration. People don't like change, particularly when they feel it's being imposed upon them.


    sorry, but I don't buy that. Cultural diversity comes from cultures evolving independently. Ethnicity doesn't come into it. That's why you get footballers, for example, moving from one country to another and finding it impossible to adapt to a new way of life - one where the attitudes are different, the social manners are different, the traditional values are different, not to mention lesser things like the food and weather being different.

    Ruud Gullit went straight into management here (with Chelsea, who were probably regarded as the worst club for racism 25 years ago) and nobody batted an eyelid. I'm not sure if it even got mentioned. He got another job at Newcastle very quickly after departing Chelsea.
     
  16. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    I was gonna mention him. Didn't he win the FA Cup as Chelsea manager and make the final w/ Newcastle?

    This was before the Mad Russian started dropping mad money on Chelsea players and the club couldn't take trophies for granted.

    Has there been a black manager in the Premiership since Gullit?
     
  17. Bucky-O'Hare

    Bucky-O'Hare Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Ireland
    Club:
    Derry City
    No there hasn't been unfortunately. I think Ince will be next though. Not that I really give a dam about the EPL soap opera.
     
  18. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    So why post about it then? :rolleyes:
     
  19. former baller

    former baller New Member

    Mar 10, 2002
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bucky-O'Hare
    No there hasn't been unfortunately. I think Ince will be next though. Not that I really give a dam about the EPL soap opera.

    ....So why post about it then?
    _______________-------------

    Many of us do care about the EPL and what happens in the UK leagues as well as USA and MLS. Landmark equal opporutnity changes in each will help us here in the USA and vice versa I believe. We are two nations closely tied that influence and impact much of the worlds viewers. These two leagues can lead the world by providing great former players of all races with opportunities to coach that we have all been discussing. This is one issue, an important issue to the future that many are not perhaps focused on. But we have seen this type of change in the USA before and our other sports leagues have BENEFITED greatly from intergration. They have multiplied their revenue hand over fist with a wider appeal after intergrating the professional sports leagues. The coaching ranks and football quarterback positions have been one of the visible slower areas to provide equal opporutnity. However the American football quaterback has seen intergration finally for a number of years. Now the coaching intergration in the NBA and NFL is now happening in the USA. The final two teams Head Coaches in this years NFL championship were black fellows. They acheived when given the chance just like everyone else. Actually better than the rest of the league this year obviously as champions. The more intergration that has occured in the USA the greater the economic returns to the nation. Leagues, schools, universites, television. etc...the economics is true....but not sure how to measure and assign it specifically to intergration but everyone enjoys our stars and celebrities no matter what their color. After it occurs it now seems as though few if any can remember back to when it wasn't. The fear of change is usually much more diffucult that the reality many times.
     
  20. Prenn

    Prenn Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    Northern Ireland
    Club:
    Bolton Wanderers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Jean Tigana.

    You're really not doing too well are you?
     
  21. jade1mls

    jade1mls Member

    Jul 9, 2006
    Seattle
    Sadly, this is even a problem in Brazil, a country we would think would have had more than a few qualified black former player type coaches or managers. Tim Vickery has written about it and talked about it on BBC Radio 5.

    In summation it is cultural sterotyping/low(er) expectations for blacks (regardless if they are voiced or not they are a part of the cultures) + socializing within a circle of mostly people like them + 'an old boy network' based on that socialization.
     
  22. Bucky-O'Hare

    Bucky-O'Hare Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Ireland
    Club:
    Derry City
    My bad. Isn't Bolton one of the main areas for the national front over there in the UK? Are you a member of the BNP?

    I disagree with people saying lack of diversity is the main source of racism. A few years ago there were very few immigrants in my local area but since then the amount of people from the new EU countries ans chinese that have moved in has been staggering yet they havent been subjected to any racism whatsoever. Thats something Im very proud of when you consider what some immigrants have to go through over in the UK, i.e. Morcambe Bay.

    What team in the premiership probably live in the most ethnically diverse area? West Ham has got to be somewhere near the top. Yet when you look at their stadium on match day almost the whole capacity seem to be white! How is that so? Do people from other ethnic groups feel intimidated when it comes to being spectators? Or are the majority of West Hams fans not even from East London?

    On a sidenote of the racism issue I just thought I'd mention Shunzukes Nakamura's treatment by Rangers fans. During the last Old Firm game, every time Nakamura went to take corners and free kicks the rangers fans were making aeroplane signals! Disgusting!!
     
  23. Prenn

    Prenn Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    Northern Ireland
    Club:
    Bolton Wanderers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    So that's your level of debate :D

    Explain what they had to go through, I dare you. You will be able to show your ignorance in all it's glory.

    Riiight... it's all numbers to you isn't it? Do you expect a football club's consumer base to change overnight? Do you not understand that immigrants will have no attachment to the local area and therefore feel no need to support the local club? Do you not understand that many West Ham fans will be so because of family ties? The situation is far more complex than you give it credit for and it requires a lot more than just comparing numbers to properly assess the situation.
     
  24. Bucky-O'Hare

    Bucky-O'Hare Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Ireland
    Club:
    Derry City
    Well thats just stupid isn't it! Is every person of carribean, south asian, chinese, african or any or descent in east london immigrants themselves? dont think so somehow! By the way my girlfriend is a bosnian immigrant in south west london and her family are Fulhams number one fans and they do have an emotional attachment to london. How do you explain that then? Also how do you explain the fact that Arsenal does so well when it come to having fans from ethnic minorities compared to other clubs?

    I saw the film morcambe bay last week. They got their heads kicked in by the local louts, as if that wasnt enoungh they ripped the bags of cockles that they had worked all day to fill. Those boys parents must have been proud! The sad thing is that they probably were!
     
  25. krayzie

    krayzie BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Dec 13, 2003
    Paris, France
    If black players were so much concerned by not being "taunted and heckled" because of the color of their skin, there would be no black players in Europe .



    What differentiates Europe from the US, is the fact that european fans come mostly from the Working class. Which explains hooliganism, racist chants and violent manners.



    Don't forget that in most European countries we have never had any type of anti racist movement.

    But I can't deny that racism is a HUGE issue in european soccer. It's hard for me to imagine black referees in European soccer.
    I think France and England are the most advanced when it comes to tolerance because we have such a strong diversity.
     

Share This Page