Sport holds a unique place in Australian society. It celebrates our values of equality, fairness and participation and helps build social connection and cohesion. However, spectator racism at sporting events remains an ongoing issue and can be difficult to address.
In April 2021, the Commission convened a roundtable with representatives from national sporting organisations and venues, and anti-racism experts, to discuss the ongoing issue of spectator racism. This led to the development of a set of guidelines for addressing spectator racism in sports.
These guidelines are intended to promote best practice responses to spectator racism at the professional sporting level. They identify actions that can be taken consistently across sporting codes to ensure that spectators, officials, and players are safe, and aware of what to do and how to respond to incidents of spectator racism. They also propose proactive measures to prevent racism from occurring in the first place.
Sporting organisations should be aware that racism at the institutional and systemic level undermines efforts to address spectator racism if it remains unaddressed. The Commission hopes the release of these guidelines will spark important conversations about racism in sports.