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Abstract

European soccer continues to have a significant racism problem in the sport, with increased attention from international organizations, club teams, star players, and more struggling to find a solution. Although recent scholarship has pointed to the media, hooliganism, and the growing diversity of Europe as the cause of this racism problem in soccer, the continuation and growth of this issue demonstrates the need for a new innovative solution. This study therefore aims to identify how reactions to racist events by English soccer clubs lead to additional racism perpetuated by fans in the future. By studying West Ham United Football Club in London, this study finds that European soccer clubs have a high degree of influence over their fans. First, West Ham fans took part in future racist events after the denial and minimization of a racist problem by West Ham. Second, as West Ham began taking a stronger stance on stopping racism among its fans, West Ham fans reciprocated this attitude and refrained from future racist incidents. This project has significant implications for soccer club teams to represent institutions that have significant impacts on community sentiment.

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