This Article Will Not Solve Racism in Football
Ahead of this weekend’s Champions League final, the following article can be found at the Player’s Tribune https://www.theplayerstribune.com/posts/antonio-ruediger-champions-league-soccer-racism-chelsea. The excerpt is reposted courtesy of the the Player’s Tribune on May 27, 2021 by ANTONIO RÜDIGER.
They were calling me a n*****.
They were shouting, “F*** you, go eat a banana.”
Every time I touched the ball, they would make monkey noises.
It was not just a few people. It was a big section of the Lazio fans during the 2017 Derby della Capitale.
This was not the first racist abuse that I had experienced, but it was the worst. It was real hatred. You know it when you see it in their eyes.
In the moment, I did not react. I did not walk off the pitch. I did not want to give them that kind of power. But inside, I don’t care how strong you are, if you are a human being with a beating heart, you are marked by it forever.
Whenever something like this happens, how does the football world react?
People say, “Ahhh, it’s so terrible.”
The clubs and the players post a little message on Instagram: “End racism!!!”
Everyone acts like it was “just a few idiots.”
There is an investigation, but nothing really happens. Every once in a while, we have a big social media campaign, and everybody feels good about themselves, and then we go back to normal.
Nothing ever really changes.
Tell me, why did the press and the fans and the players all come together to stop the Super League in 48 hours, but when there is obvious racist abuse at a football stadium or online, it is always “complicated”?
Maybe because it is not just a few idiots in the stands.
Maybe because it goes a lot deeper.
Every once in a while, we have a big social media campaign, and everybody feels good about themselves, and then we go back to normal.– Antonio Rüdiger
For the remainder of the story, please go to The Player’s Tribune https://www.theplayerstribune.com/posts/antonio-ruediger-champions-league-soccer-racism-chelsea.