07 Dec 2021 | Industry news |

Australian golf joins fight against racism

by Martin Blake

Golf racism image
Golf is moving behind the fight against racism in sport. Photo: Getty

The Australian PGA, the WPGA and Golf Australia have endorsed a new set of guidelines aimed at helping Australian sporting organisations prevent and respond to incidents of racism.

The ‘Guidelines for Addressing Spectator Racism in Sports’ were produced by the Australian Human Rights Commission as the result of round table discussions attended by Australian golf in April 2021.

Other major professional sporting organisations including the AFL, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, and some of the nation’s largest stadiums have already endorsed the guidelines.

The golf industry is committed to addressing racism at sporting events, and hopes the Guidelines will support consistent and united responses to such incidents across sporting codes. In a joint statement by the chief executives of the PGA, WPGA and Golf Australia, Gavin Kirkman, Karen Lunn and James Sutherland, they said: “We believe this is an important step in the fight against racism. These guidelines will give us the framework to respond in the appropriate way in the event that racism rears its ugly head at our tournaments or events. We abhor it and we will not tolerate it.” ABOUT THE GUIDELINES:

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 Australian Human Rights 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.

Feedback during the development of these Guidelines indicated that sporting codes and venue operators want guidance that supports their policies, procedures and efforts to address racism. While the nature, prevalence and type of spectator racism may vary, there are common foundational elements for responding to racism where it exists.

To accompany the release of the Guidelines, the Commission has developed a suite of resources to support their implementation. These resources are a guide only and are designed to be adapted by sporting organisations for their particular context.

These materials are developed as part of the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign, which has often worked in partnership with sporting codes to promote anti-racism initiatives and support sports fans and participants to identify and challenge racism.

The ‘Guidelines for Addressing Spectator Racism in Sports’ are available from https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/race-discrimination/publications/guide-addressing-spectator-racism-sports-2021.


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