Deinster SV Football Club Fights Against Racism in its Own Way
Deinstat SV Football Team Posted a « Black-Faced » Photo on Facebook in Solidarity With Two of Their Sudanese Players Who Were Racially AbusedApril 20th, 2016
Amar and Emad, two Sudanese refugees playing for the Deinster SV football club which plays in the 8th tier of the German league in the Kriesliga Stade division, were victim of a racially motivated assault. Emad was beaten up by two men during an Easter celebration in their town and that left him with a black-eye and deeply traumatized as he was considering quitting the team.
The team responded by digitally altering a team photo so every players would appear to be black-faced and posting it on social medias in order to support Amar and Emad. The caption on the Facebook post stated « This is simply very sad! Violence against refugees is pathetic! Emad and Amar you belong to us, like any other at the club and we are pleased that you are with us!!! » and was followed by the hashtag « UnitedWeStand ». Franck Sandmann, the club’s press spokesman said that all players « wanted to show Emad that they are all the same and that he is equal ». The team also said that they wanted to use this incident in order to send a clear message against racism. Emad was very touched by the support of his team mates and by the positive comments and came back to practice just a few days later.
What is interesting is that « blackface » has historically been used in a racist way but the club wanted to reverse its meaning by using it in order to fight racism. Some commentators, indeed, questioned the use of « blackface » because of its history but, overall, the message was well received as the Facebook post generated over 21k likes as of April the 19th and loads of positive reaction in the comment section praising the team’s stance to support its Sudanese players.
The professional football world has been very active in the fight against racism with big advertising campaigns like the « Say No to Racism » one highlighted by teams from all around the world holding a big sign showing the catchphrase before every game during the last World Cup in Brazil. This story shows that amateur football players are also fighting against racism in their own way and that social media can be a very effective channel to do so.
Cultural Diplomacy News