AP sports writers Tales Azzoni, Steve Douglas, Jerome Pugmire, Graham Dunbar, James Ellingworth, James Robson and Top Stories editor Mary Sedor took a deep and unprecedented look at the rampant racism in soccer through the eyes of the players, the fans and the decision makers.
Approaching the story from multiple perspectives throughout Europe, Latin America and Africa yielded a series of all-formats stories that examined the toll of the rampant — and basically unchecked — racism in the world’s most popular sport.
Douglas and Azzoni anchored the package with an overview. Ellingworth interviewed one of the monitors who attends games undercover and reports racism in the stands. Robson and Pugmire talked to former England players Paul Canoville and Mark Bright on camera to share their experiences with racism in English soccer. Dunbar talked to officials and recounted some of the most famous cases of racism in Europe, while Douglas and Pugmire collaborated on a story about the spread of racism on social media and the use of AI by players looking for protection. Sedor’s work from the outset guiding and editing the story was invaluable.
While other news organizations have tackled the issue of racism in soccer, AP’s work was distinctive in its multifaceted approach.