Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Maty Ryan highlighted the role football can play ahead of the Premier League's 'No Room for Racism' campaign at the Amex on Saturday as Albion host Everton.
Ryan, the Australian national team captain, believes the global reach of the Premier League and the power of sport can help to create a positive impact in wider society.
“Football is a powerful sport," said Ryan. "This sort of thing has gone on for far too long, so something needs to be done in order to stop it.
“Campaigns like the Premier League’s ‘No Room for Racism’ one are vitally important, and we have to have those, as well as making examples.
"The Premier League’s initiative is another big step in making supporters aware that type of behaviour is unacceptable.”
Ryan also praised fellow goalkeeper Douglas Pajetat for walking off the pitch after racial abuse was directed at him in Saturday’s FA Cup tie between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town.
The Haringey goalkeeper from Cameroon was reportedly spat at and struck by an object and left the field. The match was abandoned in the 64th minute as a result.
Two men, aged 23 and 26, had been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault.
Ryan said, “It was a powerful statement, but it’s a shame that we’re still speaking about the subject in this day and age.
“Full credit to everyone involved from both clubs and the individual himself to have the confidence to walk off the pitch with the support of everyone.
“Hopefully it gets the right attention now to work towards a solution to rid society, the game and the world of this type of abuse.
"As players we have quite a bit of power to be able to make a stand, which is what both teams did in that moment – so I commend them for it.
"Hopefully it gets the right attention now to work towards a solution to rid society, the game and the world of this type of abuse.”
Earlier this month, three Brighton fans were under investigation by Sussex Police following two separate incidents of racism at the Amex Stadium.
The first involved two fans and took place at an Under-23 fixture against Tottenham on September 27. The second occurred during the club's Premier League victory Spurs. One person arrested by police at the stadium.
Please report any anti-social behaviour during matches at the Amex. Either alerting a steward — or anonymously texting the Amex Control Room. Please text details of the location affected, descriptions and the nature of the issue to: 07880 196 442.