I play, coach, and work in the game with a wide variety of people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Sadly, I've seen and heard more than a couple of embarrassing incidents. However, I recently saw something that really ticked me off.
One of the players I coach was called a racial slur and spit on during the first half of a tournament game. It wasn't the first time I've heard that word used on a field, and I know it won't be the last. At halftime, the player told those of us on the sideline about the incident. Our staff talked to the referees, and then some jawing broke out between the two teams over the issue.
When confronted about what he did, the offending player said (paraphrasing), "What's the big deal? It's just part of the game."
Is it really? Should it be? It's sad that our game has come to that. I understand that trash talking goes on in every game. Every little advantage you can find to get a step ahead of your opponents, you use it. You can say that guy kicks like a little girl, he smells funny, his haircut is wack, his shoes are untied, whatever you want to get him off his game.
When you're reduced to pulling out racial slurs in order to take someone off their game, you must be pretty desperate.
If it's true that this sort of thing has become part of the game, and I don't think it truly has, then it needs to be eliminated. If cursing can get you a card, then racial slurs should get you tossed. If saying these things from the stands can get you thrown out of a game, and possibly forfeit the game to the opponents, then it should result in a red card when it happens on the field.
It actually shocked me that the player didn't seem to understand that what he did was wrong. He really thought it was just part of the game. That scares me...