Thursday 22 March 2018

Gavin wants 'zero tolerance' on racism abuse

Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

DUBLIN football manager Jim Gavin has condemned the code of silence and the attitude of 'what happens on the pitch should stay on the pitch' in relation to spitting and racism.

Gavin was unequivocal in his abhorrence of players and spectators who descend to spitting and he also has no time for any racist behaviour. In fact, the Dublin boss has called on the GAA to impose mandatory 12-month bans for players or officials, who are found guilty of racism.

He is also happy that the spitting issue has been highlighted this week and doesn't want to see it swept under the carpet under a macho code of misguided 'omerta'.

Leitrim's Emlyn Mulligan and Paul Galvin of Kerry were victims in spitting controversies that made headlines this week.

Galvin admitted he reluctantly went public with a statement in which he alleged he was spat at by a Cookstown player during the recent All-Ireland intermediate club football championship final between Finuge and Cookstown.

The former All Star had not intended to make any comment, but felt he had to respond because video of the incident was put on YouTube.

Tyrone's Owen Mulligan, skipper of Cookstown, said he is a firm believer of 'what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch,' but Gavin does not agree with that view.

A member of the Dublin All-Ireland winning side of 1995, Gavin played in an era when big hits were the norm, but he never experienced spitting and doesn't want to see it become a feature of the GAA.

Gavin said: "We hit each other hard, yeah, but you got up and you dusted yourself down.

"It (spitting) is completely unacceptable. There should be a zero tolerance policy on everything from that to racial abuse to sledging. The FAI have a six-month ban for racism. I think we should go further and put it out there for 12 months – a mandatory 12-month ban for any form of racism.

"Across all communities on the island there's people from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. We need to address the problem and move on.

"What better way to encourage people into the GAA than to have a zero tolerance policy (on racism). Then they could come in here without any fear and they could become true gaels."

Irish Independent

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