"Now the tolerance levels for behavior like that are coming right down. That's why we're seeing increased numbers of incidents reported, of fans making monkey gestures in isolation, small numbers of people throwing things on the pitch.
"It has been happening for a while but now we are clamping down on these anti-social behaviors."
Arrests at Premier League matches actually dropped by 30% last season, but conversely the numbers for race-related transgressions have been steadily rising.
The world is watching
The images of blood dripping from the face of Rio Ferdinand after the former England captain was hit by a coin thrown from the crowd on Sunday, and then of the Manchester United defender being confronted by a pitch-invading City fan -- all broadcast worldwide -- have been a lightning rod for criticism after a year of damaging controversies both in the Premier League and the lower divisions.
But Carlisle, a former top-flight player now plying his trade in the fourth tier, believes it has just highlighted something that has been a regular occurrence for years.
"There have been many televised games where guys go to take corners and you see projectiles coming onto the pitch, but it's only on a rare occasion that they actually hit someone," said the 33-year-old, who in a television documentary explored the racist abuse his father suffered as a black player in a semi-pro English league.
"There's been a shift in people's acceptance of these behaviors," said Clarke.
"We're expecting people to behave far more reasonably at football matches, we are expecting the football authorities to take control of the situation with all the technology they have available, and we are expecting repercussions for those behaviors, for people to be accountable whether it's a player, a referee, club official or a fan."