ABSTRACT

As racist and neo-fascist expressions surfaced within football, those who worked to sanitize British football and protect its harmonious and re ned image adopted concerns about race into their moral repertoire. at is, distress about violence within football was now supplemented by growing anxieties about the presence of racism within the sport. As politicians and the public continued to imbue sport with representations of the nation, new myths about what sport should epitomize appeared. Whereas previous anti-violence campaigns targeted working-class youth for tainting the symbolic demonstrations of appropriate masculinity, deference to authority and gentlemanly Britishness, racism within

British football challenged the mythology of a peaceful multicultural Britain in the post-colonial era. While all of the emblematic pressures for harmony and mannered cultivation remained in British football, the social ri s and cultural questions raised by its working-class spectator base widened to include constructions of race and expressions of racism. ese challenges emerged as football faced its most crippling commercial period in the modern era, where ongoing violence and the emergence of commercial television contracts contributed to declining attendance.1