Topic: I'd like to get your take on this POS..."Blacking Up"
Hartlepool United supporters, for many years, have chosen a fancy dress theme for the last away match of the season, and then dressed en-masse as whatever the theme is. See below:
THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO
Hartlepool United have had an awful year. In fact, it is very likely that they will drop out of the football league when they play their last away game of the season. So, the theme they have decided on is the late, great Bob Marley. After all, they said, a lot of his songs could sum up the season they have had, and they can add in singing songs like Three Little Birds, which is very apt given their predicament.
Now, obviously the theme they have chosen means that a lot of Hartlepool Supporters will be using make up to change their skin colour. The manager of Carlisle United, where the match will be played, who is a black man, has said he wouldn't find it in the least bit offensive, as have many prominent minority football players past and present.
Let's Kick Racism Out Of Football had this to say:
Kick It Out Issue Statement
Kick It Out
A statement from Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation.
"We have received a number of complaints* from Hartlepool United supporters about the Bob Marley fancy dress theme planned by a group of the club’s fans for their fixture against Carlisle United at Brunton Park on Saturday 2 May. The main concerns raised have been over the potential of fans deciding to ‘black up’.
“We have subsequently followed up on the complaints by contacting both Hartlepool United and Carlisle United on the matter. We clearly outlined that ‘blacking up’ has historically been a way of acting out racist stereotypes, and while the theme planned by fans may be well intended and chosen as part of an annual fancy dress tradition, such behaviour, if it occurs, is likely to cause offence.
“We have provided guidance to both clubs on the matter, and advised Carlisle United of our own stance that if any fans do choose to ‘black up’ they should be refused entry to their stadium. We have also contacted The Football Association, the Football League, and the United Kingdom Football Policing Unit to inform them of the complaints we have received from Hartlepool United supporters.
“If we do receive complaints informing us that supporters have ‘blacked up’ at the fixture between Carlisle United and Hartlepool United, or that any incidents or disturbances of a discriminatory nature have occurred, we will follow our usual procedures by making The Football Association and the Football League aware for them to investigate.”
So, whadd'ya reckon? Harmless fun, or poorly thought out and offensive?