There have been ugly racist sentiments expressed on social media after England’s loss to Italy in the European Cup Final. Racist abuse by sports fans is sadly not uncommon but usually it is aimed at players on the opposing team. This abuse allegedly by English fans was aimed at their own team’s players. This was because in the penalty shootout that decided the game, the three England players who did not score goals were all players of color and now they are being blamed for the loss.
You can see the highlights of the game below with the penalty shootouts beginning at the 6:10 mark.
Racist abuse is always terrible. But given how much of a crapshoot the penalty shootout is, it is even more reprehensible in this situation. These so-called fans who hurled this abuse likely couldn’t hit the side of a barn even in the absence of a defender and yet they feel free to attack elite players who have to perform under extremely high pressure and make split-second decisions about where to aim their kick while at the same time disguising their intentions from the goal keeper and even changing their target at the last minute if they think the keeper is going in a particular direction.
Rob Grigjanis says
I was listening to an Irish sports show (I’m an England supporter, but it’s always nice to hear the opinions of people hostile to England, especially if they express it with some wit) in which they said most of the online abuse was from outside England. No doubt, though, that some of it was from English ‘fans’, and the hammer should be brought down on them in any way possible.
It’s nauseating to hear Boris Johnson condemning the racism, since he and some of his Tory colleagues have defended people booing the England team taking the knee. It was nice to see the booing drowned out by applause from the majority of spectators.
Do these “fans” think they know how the game is played?
Do these fans think when there is a penalty shot opportunity, that the team gathers around and then the darkest-skinned person intimidates the whimpy Anglo/Celtic weak players into backing off and letting them take the team shot? Or do they think in organized sports they have an organized system to decide who shoots? Whether decided by a team captain or a coach of some sort at such games, do any fans think they make decisions on a racial basis, or do the fans think they make a decision on the basis of wanting to, you know, win, and so they put up the player they think is best positioned to get the point? Do they think there is a conspiracy between all the team leaders, coaches, and players to work really hard to get into the finals and then throw away the game for some unspecified reason? Do we hear anyone calling for an investigation of the coaches for throwing the game? Do we hear anyone alleging that the tough dark-skinned players intimidated the failing white players into not taking their weak failing chance to fail winning at the game? Clearly, there is no rational scenario that fits, other than that random chance has not operated in their favor this time.
Instead, it just exposes a few weak-minded racists as such. It seems implausible that the racists were even true fans.
“it is even more reprehensible”
This implies that in some circumstances racism is less reprehensible, an idea I categorically reject.
Unfortunately every single European country suffers from it around football fields, eg Italy and The Netherlands no less than England. Ajax keeper Andre Onana (from Cameroon) only a year ago talked about it in the Dutch press.
On the positive side Mr. FC Twente (my favourite team) is an Afro-Swiss:
This video shows some of the many goals the all-time topscorer made.
Still racism makes me consider turning away from football now and then.
Interesting take on football fandom. As a nerdy little dweeb, I just never developed the obsession with sports fandom, so….it is all so alien to me.