Aussie crowd behavior at sporting events have not changed: Report

November 14th, 2007 - 2:41 am ICT by admin  
What’s the Score?, a study of racism in Australia, was released this week by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. It notes an increase in the incidence of poor crowd behaviour in Australian in recent times.

Cricket Australia’s swift reaction to this sort of unsavoury behaviour, however, has been applauded and praised.

“New strategies are necessary and tough laws help. But the attitudes that give rise to racist behaviour at sporting events do not seem to have shifted a great deal,” says the report

It noted a recent survey on Cricket Australia’s website, in which 46 per cent of 12,000 respondents said crowd behaviour had been acceptable in 2005-06.

The report assumes even greater significance in the light of the recent India-Australia one-day series in India, which Australia won 4-2. The series was marred by alleged racist comments and gestures against Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds, the only non-white in the current squad. Captains of both teams — Ricky Ponting and Mahendra Singh Dhoni — played down the ruckus created over the issue, but at the same time have called on the cricketing authorities around the world to prevent such incidents.

Ponting, who has since returned to Australia, told mediapersons on Monday here that home fans should not retaliate when the Indian team visits Australia in December and January.

Ponting said that while some Indian players would likely be given a “hard time” by fans when they played Down Under, he hoped this would not include racial taunts such as those endured by Symonds in India.

Australian cricket crowds do not have a lily-white reputation, with racial slurs and chants directed at some of the South African team in previous years. (ANI)

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