I'm posting this topic to help me and any others that might have a question of this regard. I'm curious to how much of a problem it really is. I have heard things from fellow travelers that weren't exactly pleasing. I'm also a very big soccer (football) fan and I've seen clips of racist chanting in matches throughout Italy and Spain. This will be my first time of extensive travel in Southern Europe, living out of my backpack so naturally I'd like a little information on this subject
Football fans in Europe are known, for this type of behaviour, along with other undersirable behaviour, like drunken brawling.
I think rascism from other people, would not happen more, than it would, in the US. Also, it is not tolerated. If somebody says something rascist, they would likely be told to shut it, in most parts of Europe.
Racist or more likely, sectarian, chanting in football is usually directed at the other team, not at people in general.
As Mel rightly points out, racism is a problem wherever you go, but don't let that stop you. European football fans, like the players, are from all backgrounds.
In most of Western Europe people are used to a mixture of ethnic backgrounds. If you were to go to places like the less well travelled parts of Eastern Europe, local people might be less used to seeing people who look different, and you might well find you get stared at a little. I remember my ex-boyfriends family in Croatia used to use what we would consider very outdated and inappropriate words to describe black people- but they weren't really being racist they just didn't understand the implications of the words they used.
As the others have said though, I doubt you would be be any more likely to encounter problems than you would at home.